The 2021 CrossFit Open kicked off a season full of questions. Usually, the release of the first workout leads to a few answers, this year, that was not the case. Instead, we all had one additional question, “What the heck is a Wall Walk?” 21.1 was an ascending rep scheme of Double Unders…& Wall Walks, a movement never seen before in CrossFit canon.
The workout was as follows.
For time: 1 wall walk, 10 double-unders, 3 wall walks, 30 double-unders, 6 wall walks, 60 double-unders, 9 wall walks, 90 double-unders, 15 wall walks, 150 double-unders, 21 wall walks, 210 double-unders, or until the 15-minute time cap saved your triceps.
So what does this mean going forward? The Open is predictable in its unpredictability. With that being said, it is important that anything placed in the Open is deemed important enough to improve upon over the next year should it reappear. Wall Walks aren’t going away, so instead, it is time to develop a plan to make sure they never trip anyone up that badly again.
Plan of Action
First, assess your ability to do one wall walk. If not, develop the confidence and strength to hold the body in a handstand against the wall. After achieving one wall walk in isolation, accumulate many wall walks in isolation, meaning no other exercises involved to cause fatigue. Once you can do many wall walks in isolation, begin to introduce small levels of cardiorespiratory fatigue (get your heart pumping harder, and your lungs breathing harder) by getting on the rower or bike. Should you hold up well under this kind of fatigue, the final step is to test how well a wall walk can be performed while battling fatigue in the same muscle group needed for wall walks. Do push-ups, snatches, dips, push presses, and then see where the limit of your wall walks exists. You will find your limit at the place of failing reps, taking extended rest periods, and halting in your tracks mid-workout. Do the skill on its own, do the skill with fatigue that doesn’t require the same muscles, do the skill with fatigue in the same muscles needed for that skill.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Will Durant