19.5 Preview: The Alpha Wolf

With just over a day before the last Open workout is released for 2019, the big question is, “What’s it going to be?”  But the even BIGGER question is, “Who’s going to win?”  I’m not talking about Mat Fraser vs Tia Clair-Toomey, the CrossFit Games champs who are going head-to-head on Thursday night.  No, I’m of course talking about the far more epic, far more publicized battle of Denee vs Ryan, the battle for dominance in the Wolf household.  This showdown has far-reaching implications, such as who has to unload the dishwasher, take out the garbage, and coach the 6am class on Fridays.
Before we can attempt to answer who will win in this unknown test, maybe we should figure out what it MIGHT be.  According to Beyond The Whiteboard, a workout planning and tracking app that has been around since the CrossFit Open has, there are 10 CrossFit movements that you can expect to see in the CrossFit Open.  We’ve already seen 7 of them this year — Double-unders, Toes-to-bar, Muscle-ups, Handstand Push-ups, Snatches, Rowing, and Wallballs.  That leaves Pull-ups, Thrusters, and Deadlifts as highly likely candidates for workout selection in 19.5.  Pull-ups and Thrusters have been in the Open every year since it began in 2011.  Deadlifts have been in every year except 2012.  Thrusters have been in the last workout of the Open EVERY YEAR.  Uh oh.
So, who’s going to win?  In a classic couplet of Pull-ups and Thrusters — like “Fran” — Miss Denee has the advantage if we look historically at best times (her 3:12 vs Ryan’s 3:21), and indeed in the Open last year an ascending combo of Pull-ups and Thrusters appeared as the last workout and Denee bested Ryan by 5 reps.
It would seem that the smart money is on Denee, folks.  BUT!  If Dave Castro in his infinite wisdom would want to sneak in one more week of heavy weightlifting, Ryan may have a chance to bring home the gold.  While Denee’s work capacity is prized among mortals, Ryan’s ability to move heavy objects is a bit higher, at least with Thrusters and Deadlifts.  Ryan’s 1RM Thruster of 205 lbs would generally scale to 145 lbs for women, higher than Denee’s 135 lbs Thruster.  And Ryan’s Deadlift 1RM of 425 lbs would scale to 300+ lbs for women in a workout, which beats Denee’s 1RM Deadlift of 235 lbs.
It seems that the winner will at least partially come down to the workout selection for 19.5.  But of course, we know that CrossFit — and competition in general — is not just about physical capacity but it’s about effort and heart.  It’s hard to measure those empirically, but they will absolutely affect the outcome.  We’ll see what happens, either way we’re both excited!  Join us on Friday night to throw down and see for yourself who is the Alpha Wolf!

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