March 29, 2016
16.5 Workout Breakdown and Analysis
By Jonathan Kinnick of Beyond the Whiteboard
80 percent of athletes who completed both 14.5 and 16.5 were able to improve their times.
80 percent of athletes who completed both 14.5 and 16.5 were able to improve their times.

Open Workout 16.5 was a repeat of 14.5: 21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps of thrusters and burpees. A total of 84 reps of each. For time. Amazingly, it was actually worse than it sounds (and it sounds pretty horrible).

Unlike all the AMRAPs we’ve seen this Open, there was no partial credit this time. To put up a valid score you had to complete all 168 reps. The good news was that with no time cap you had as much time as you needed to finish the workout. The bad news was that you still had to do 168 miserable reps. Across all divisions, 8,267 competitors spent more than 30 minutes grinding this one out. That’s dedication.

16.5 vs. 14.5

Two years have passed since we were first given 14.5, and a lot can change in that time. Family issues, illnesses, pregnancies, injuries, new jobs and just life in general all happen. Across all age divisions, 44,231 competitors completed both 14.5 and 16.5. Of those competitors, 42,651 did it Rx'd for their age division, while only 1,580 decided to complete it scaled this time (there was no Scaled division in 2014).

Eighty percent of the Individual Rx'd competitors that completed both 14.5 and 16.5 were able to improve their times. For those who beat their 14.5 time, the average improvement was 3:20. For those who did worse on 16.5, this may be a much needed wake-up call to get their fitness back on track.

16.5 Workout Analysis

For 16.5 we saw 88 percent of men go Rx’d (up 1 percent from last week) and 71 percent of women go Rx’d (up 5 percent). This is the highest Rx’d percentage that we’ve seen in the Open this year. The lowest Rx’d percentages were on 16.2 for men (81 percent Rx’d) and 16.1 for women (52 percent Rx’d)

All divisions had the same number of burpees, so the deciding factor this week was whether you were willing to endure 84 thrusters at 95/65.

There was a pretty wide spread of final times for 16.5. The 50th percentile was 17:00 for Rx’d men and 17:34 for Rx’d women. On the distribution chart, the most common range for men to finish in was 14-16 minutes. For the women the 14-16-minute range was almost dead even with the 16-18-minute range.

To score in the 99th percentile the men needed 9:39 and the women needed 9:55. The women were about 30 seconds slower than the men across most of the percentiles.

Scaled, Masters, and Teens

Here is a link to percentile bar charts for every division.

Every division performed the full reps of thrusters and burpees this week. The main differences were thruster weight and burpee bar-height for some of the divisions.

The vast majority of competitors finished this workout between 7 and 30 minutes. The Rx’d Teen Boys 14-15 had the faster 99th percentile time at 9:34, with the Rx’d Teen Girls 14-15 close behind at 9:50.

For the 55-59 Rx’d Masters, a time of 15:21 for the men and 16:15 for the women would earn a score in the 75th percentile.

Analysis by


Update March 31: Altered the number of athletes who submitted scores for 14.5 and 16.5, and the percentage of repeat athletes who improved.