Coaching Roundtable: CrossFit Open 13.3 Tips and Advice

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Coaching Roundtable: CrossFit Open 13.3 Tips and Advice
So the CrossFit Open 13.3 has dropped, and it is a repeat of Open 12.4 from last year: a 12 minute AMRAP of 150 wall balls, 90 double unders and 30 muscle ups per round. Ready to prove that your fitness has improved in the last year? Read up on the tips and advice on Open 13.3 from our all-star roundtable of coaches, including some new names lending their insight this week.

MobilityWOD Dream Team (San Francisco CrossFitMobilityWOD)

Derek Robinson (Project Nomad)

13.3 is a repeat of 12.4, I am perfectly OK with this. Many people are complaining about “lack of originality” all over social media. I would ask those same people, “how many times have you done Fran?”. CrossFit repeats workouts and that is how we measure gains.

13.3 is a good test of muscle endurance, skill, and gymnastics. A couple different energy systems are tested as well as the athleticism of the athlete. Here is how I break down 13.3:

“Karen”

Beating Karen: The key to wall balls is finding a pace and breaking sets before you think you need to.
150 wall balls of repetitive suck fest. The key to wall balls is finding a pace and breaking sets before you think you need to. Very few athletes can charge through “Karen” unbroken like Tommy Hackenbruck at the 2012 Games.

Many athletes will come out of the gate and do 50+ unbroken. That’s great, but you still have 100 more. 150 is big number – if you burn out 1/2 way through it will take you twice as long to finish the 150 as it would have if you went small sets early.

Here is how I would suggest breaking up the 150:

Beginner athlete or athlete who thinks “Karen” is the 9th level of hell.

15 sets of 10 reps, and no more. You are going to feel like a world beater coming out of the gate. Be disciplined enough to pull the reins back and let that ball hit the floor after rep 10. Take 5 deep breaths, shake out the arms, and squat clean the ball into the next set of 10. I promise you will benefit over the entire workout if you start small and stay consistent.

Intermediate athlete or athlete who fatigues during big sets of wall balls.

Intermediate athlete or athlete who fatigues during big sets of wall balls.
10 sets of 15. Same as above, 5 deep breaths and squat clean into the next set.

Experienced athlete or athlete who excels at wall balls.

50-40-30-20-10 with minimal rest, 10-15 second max breaks. Squat clean the first rep of each set to save a couple seconds. This is the rep scheme I used last year and finished the “Karen” portion of 12.4 in 5:38.

OR

5 sets of 30, same breaks.

I personally like the descending rep scheme. For me it allows my mind to know that once I finish a set it is done and the next set will be easier (in theory). And the smaller sets toward the end allow for more shoulder rest leading into the double unders.

90 Double Unders

The speed and sets of these are going to be determined by each individual athlete. If you are very proficient at double unders, obviously unbroken or minimal breaks is going to be the fastest and lead to the best score. But just like with the wall balls if you go out hot and do 90 dubs under 1:00, but then have to stand under the rings for an extended time or God forbid miss, what did you gain?

30 Muscle Ups

30 Muscle Ups

One key point I want everyone to be aware of is don’t let your rings swing wildly when you break up the muscle ups.
Here is where your placing will be determined. Last year xx,xxx number of athletes tied at 240 reps (150 + 90), but stalled on the muscle ups. I suggest all athletes go back and look at Carl Paoli’s progression on gymnasticswod and refresh your muscle up technique.

Some athletes will be able to string 5,6,7+ on that first set. More power to you ninjas, wish I could. Again, I suggest everyone go to smaller sets early.

I feel most of us normal people would benefit from 1,2, or 3 rep sets. Drop down, shake out the arms, and take a couple deep breaths.

One key point I want everyone to be aware of is don’t let your rings swing wildly when you break up the muscle ups. At this point “every second counts,” and you can not afford to stand there watching the rings swing around and trying to time your jump hoping to grab them.

Another key point is to not hit failure on muscle ups. If you struggle on a rep, don’t go for another. Drop down rest and then go. Hitting failure will obviously waste precious time and will require more time to recover, physically and mentally.

My personal plan is as follows:

Wall Balls

50, 40, 30, 20, 10 in sub 5:00

Double Unders

50, 40 in sub 1:15

Muscle Ups

3′s for as long as possible without fail, then quick recovery singles.

Last year I finished with 260 reps, goal this year to improve on that and hopefully get back to the wall balls.

Paul Estrada (CrossFit Elysium)

Paul Estrada (CrossFit Elysium)

If you are a slightly taller athlete I would recommend keeping your feet on the ground the whole time. You shouldn’t need to jump and expend any extra energy from the legs…
Wall balls, double unders and muscle ups. If you were around last year, you should remember this one well. A very simple, chipper-style WOD for the most part, and a good test for the Open for sure.

The WOD starts with “Karen,” 150 wall balls. The general strategy for this WOD is going to be max effort sets. If you have a good rhythm on this movement I wouldn’t plan on breaking up in a specific way, just keep moving and breathe.

If you are a slightly taller athlete I would recommend keeping your feet on the ground the whole time. You shouldn’t need to jump and expend any extra energy from the legs if you can do a fast squat and use your arms to push the weight up.

If you are shorter and have to use that jump to get the ball up, well that is just how it is. This is where taller guys get the payback for the deadlifts last week.

The best advice on the double unders? Do them. You can either do them at this point or you can’t. Especially after 150 wall balls, they are going to be as reliable as they normally are in the middle of a rough metcon.

Try and relax, breathe and use this section as an active recovery … If that is possible for you. If the double unders are a struggle, I would take a few moments after the wall balls and gather yourself before starting.

If you get to the muscle ups, don’t underestimate the speed of singles. Many people that make it to this stage will want to open with a big set then hang on for dear life.

If you open with a medium set and save some for following reps, you will have a better shot at more points. When doing singles, hit lockout, drop from the top (not a slow lower through the whole movement) and grab the rings so they don’t fly all over the place. The fast single method will most likely be faster then trying to do multiples that cause you to take longer breaks.

This is the first workout that I might recommend doing more then once. Your body should be able to recover fairly well by Sunday if you wanted to do multiple attempts. Especially of you are someone that is getting into the muscle up range. Doing it again and getting a few more reps could make a pretty good difference on the scoreboard.
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