There is a lot of buzz online right now regarding workout 14.3 of the CrossFit open.

If you haven’t seen it, or just aren’t into CrossFit, the workout is as many rounds in possible in 8:00 of heavy deadlifts and box jumps. The catch is that both the weight and repetitions for the deadlifts increase each round. This workout was made to break strong deadlifters, and the prescribed loads reflect that.

Basically, what this boils down to is a considerable opportunity to sacrifice back position for score. If any of you watched the workout announcement, you no doubt noticed how lousy the deadlifts of two of the top female CrossFit athletes looked by the end of the workout. Respecting the fact that this is a competitive situation, it is still my opinion that continuing to pull deadlifts past the point of technical failure is asking for trouble, especially when we consider the incredible amount of reps prescribed at daunting weights.

(No disrespect meant to either Tovar or Pichelli, as both are obviously extraordinary examples of human athletic potential.)

Much of the criticism surrounding this workout has been directed towards CrossFit HQ, since we will probably see a tremendous amount of injuries occur this week as a result of people pushing way past their true limit to maximize their score. While I think there is some validity in that criticism, I also think the responsibility ultimately lies with the individual athletes and their coaches. This is obviously a workout that the majority of people should be scaling, and coaches should be very quick to cut their athletes off when a consistent lapse in technique occurs.

If you choose to participate in 14.3, just keep in mind that sacrificing your long-term athletic potential (by incurring some sort of lasting lumbar injury) is in NO WAY worth a slightly higher score. Respect your limits, respect your spine, and take whatever score your strength and fitness supports with grace.

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