13.2 Strategy and Tips-

Every year the Open brings us a WOD that makes the coaches/athletes who I’m in daily contact with throw up their hands, and collectively say, “Why’d they make it so light?” The advent of Linsey Valenzuela’s presence on the announcement show certainly didn’t help matters (BTW… Former Washington Redskin, Jon Jansen, is great). Because Lindsey was there I got a million texts predicting super-heavy cleans, or “please God, maybe a 1RM Jerk”. My response to all of them was basically the same: you are a delusional meathead.

While 13.2 is seemingly “too light” (again, if you’re a meathead), it is simply a test of mid-range aerobic capacity. A changing of mindset would be helpful to almost everyone approaching this 10 minutes. This is basically an easily setup, video-able, version of a 1.5 mile run, or 2k row. If you wanted 250# Cleans and Bar Muscle-Ups you’re gonna have to get to Regionals. This one is strictly about capacity.

There isn’t a ton of strategy involved here, but I’ll try to give a few reminders/tips that may help keep pace a little longer. Also, there’s some interesting math involved that should explain the discrepancy between efforts.


>There is only one way to score high: fast, consistent, rebounding Box Jumps. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, but it will be the great divide on the scoreboard. Jason Hoggan has already posted a score of 11 rounds. After analyzing his video, and the announcement show, there is not really more than a 2-3 second deviation at any point with the barbell—Annie averaged :23 per round, Jason :25 per round. The only place to gain an advantage here is to simply have a shorter range of motion. An athlete with considerably shorter levers—Jason and Annie both have longish arms—can gain 1-2 seconds per round, but since lever length is something no one can control, it may be a moot point. It’s going to be won or lost on the Box Jumps, and if you have your sites set on the top of the leaderboard, they must be of the rebounding variety.

*Editorial Note: I am not – in any way – claiming that rebounding box jumps are safe, or recommending that everyone do them. There is clearly great potential for injury, and the individual athlete must decide for themselves whether the risk is worth the reward. My tips are exclusively to maximize scoring. If the athlete simply wants to “remain in the game”, and not allow for any potential injury, I would highly recommend a jump up – step down method.

>Rest should be taken on top of the box, exclusively. The scoring differential here will come down to mere seconds and the ability to keep moving at all times. Obviously, dropping the BB at any point is the cardinal sin—dropping from overhead will waste 5-8 seconds, dropping the Deadlift 3-5. To maintain pace, but still utilize the stretch-shortening cycle in rebounding, the athlete must use the reset time on top of the box for any recovery necessary (which there isn’t much time for).

>Tap dance on the box. I’m a big fan of Annie’s style of releasing one foot first, then dropping off the box (which you can see here). It allows for more of a rhythmic cadence, and a more accurate landing. If you’ve never used this style I would recommend practicing it for a few reps before trying it for the complete piece. Also, Annie lands almost every rep with roughly two-thirds of her foot on the box. This allows her to remove her left foot first, and drop the heel of her right foot slightly before returning to the ground. Even the slightest drop in height from the top of the box will allow the athlete to conserve energy (as opposed to jumping off the box and creating more distance to travel).

>Do not, under any circumstances, take your hands off the bar. The transition from the S2O to the Deadlift should ALWAYS be simply an un-racking of the bar into the hang position. Again, there are very few places to gain seconds in this test, do not waste seconds in places where there is no need.

>Wasting time is not a part of the plan. Jason did 15 Deadlifts on the first round (because he’s a spazz), and missed a Box Jump on the 5th round. Collectively this wasted about twelve seconds. Twelve seconds for someone with Jason’s massive motor meant 8-12 reps. Those reps will be the difference between about twenty spots on the leaderboard. Be fast, but don’t be a spazz.

*Final note: This morning I discussed the option of step-ups with Ken Gall from CF Atlanta. These ARE NOT an option for those of you who are top competitors. However, after testing them earlier, I believe they are an option—probably only for women—for those who are not going to go ten plus rounds. The absolute fastest I could do a set of fifteen was around thirty-three seconds. They’re slow, but they took almost nothing out of me metabolically. A taller female (with good strength), who gasses quickly on Box Jumps, could use these to her advantage, if they allow her to move continuously. These are absolutely not an option for male athletes.

WOD 130315:

Movement Prep

1) Take 15-20 minutes to work up to 5 Hi-Hang Snatches @ no more than 75-80%. DO NOT go above 80% or do more than 5 heavy reps.

2) 5-10 non-rebounding Box Jumps @ 36/30″. Move slowly and step down. Concentrate on landing as high as possible (torso).

3) 5 sets of 2-3 rebounding Box Jumps. Concentrating on footwork, and minimizing time in contact with the floor.


CF Games Open WOD 13.2

82 thoughts on “130315

  1. Out of curiosity, for the non-top competitors, why are women specifically going to see an advantage with the step-up version than a male athlete with similar make-up (stronger, but maybe gasses on box jumps)?

    “A taller female (with good strength), who gasses quickly on Box Jumps, could use these to her advantage, if it they allow her to move continuously. These are absolutely not an option for male athletes.”

  2. How about stepping down, jumping up? Are step ups preferable to this?

    My main concern is (as with everyone else, I know) that my Achilles are on the verge of rupturing at any moment. My PT husband may divorce me if I do rebounding box jumps. I have a good motor, and I am certain I am capable of doing 10+ rounds.

    I guess I will do it with step downs tonight and see how it goes. My heart seriously sank when I saw box jumps.

    My main

    • at some point you just have to decide for yourself. if you’re not getting paid to exercise, only you can determine if the risk is worth it. and unless you’re clawing to make regionals, it’s just exercise…

    • Julie Foucher stepped down after every jump. Her score is unspectacular, but still is likely good enough to get her to Regionals (if she actually goes).

      • I’d like to make it clear (as I knew this would come up but didn’t have time to write a disclaimer), I am not – in any way – claiming that rebounding box jumps are safe. There is clearly great potential for injury, and the individual athlete must decide for themselves whether the risk is worth the reward. My tips are exclusively to maximize scoring. If the athlete simply wants to “remain in the game”, and not allow for any potential injury, I would highly recommend a jump up – step down method.

  3. Rudy-Invictus coaches a style of box jumping onto the corner of the box. Is there a reason more folks don’t? It shortens the distance considerably and allows you to bond much easier.

    • Travis, I have played with that style, but because most of us have boxes that are wider on the bottom, I don’t know how effective it is. I’ll mess with it on our square box tonight, and update if it’s good.

      • bond? I meant bound. I showed it to my coach, Blair Morrison, and he did the F50 with it and loved it. I feel like it sped me up considerably. Kind of let’s you jump more straight up and down vs. forward and back. I love your programming, commentary, etc…please don’t go the way of Coach Rut and shut us down to subscribing!

    • Hey Travis – could you explain specifically how this style of box jump is performed? Never seen it done but sounds intriguing. Thanks!

  4. So just to confirm step ups are a valid movement instead of box jumps? I feel they could be useful for males in the latter rounds when fatigue sets in

  5. answer to my own question from the main page read last sentence:

    This workout begins from a standing position and with the barbell on the ground, loaded to the appropriate weight. For the Shoulder to overhead to count, the barbell will move from the shoulders to the overhead position with the knees, hips and shoulders extended in one line. After the 5 reps, they will use the same barbell to perform the Deadlift. After 10 Deadlifts they will move to the box. The athlete will start with two feet on the ground and come to a standing position with knees and hips locked out on top of the box. Two-foot jumps, one-foot jumps and step-ups are all permitted.

  6. It wasn’t mentioned in the games website, but came up at our gym today. Most of us are doing step ups (because we are not elite). Some of us were using our hands/arms to assist the step up and iterate faster. I didn’t see anything on the main game site to suggest this was or wasn’t valid. I didn’t use my hands to assist, but I bet if I did, I would score much better as it really speeds up the step ups later when fatigued.

  7. Rudy, thanks for the great post. Just to give my testing thoughts for everybody. Myself and my girlfriend just tested the step-ups. Neither of use are stellar at box jumps, we can both rebound them, but I’d say we are both liable for a missed rep every round. If I get a solid set I’m looking around 30 seconds for 15. Not super fast but I can get through them.

    For the step-ups. I did 3 sets of 15 with a minute or so of rest in between, I was able to hit them at 28 seconds, and as Rudy already mentioned felt considerably less gassed metabolically, obviously more loading time on the legs, but again as Rudy mentioned this workout is all about the lungs. My girlfriend was able to cycle a couple sets of 15 in 25 seconds. Again for her, she can rebound, but more likely to fail because of the accuracy/balance component.

    I think we are both going to give it a go tomorrow. Will try and get a video and report back. Just thought we’d give some more data for you all to draw off of.

  8. Rudy, I understand for the elite athletes you are saying that rebounding box jumps are the only way to go (at least I think your saying that) as they most likely want to break the 10 round mark. What about the male athlete who needs to do 24inch box jump? Do you think it’s possible to get through 270 reps (9 rounds) with the step-up method?

    • It is, they’re not significantly slower (4-6 sec per round), but to make those numbers work it would require absolutely no stoppage of work.

      • I am a not-tall (5’6″) stumpy female. I am a bad box jumper. I hit 287 reps today using a step-up and step-down. Never took my hands off the bar and just tried to keep moving on and catch my breathe on the step-ups. Definitely recommend this approach for women who get gassed by box jumps but can move the barbell fast.

      • I did the wod yesterday using step up method with jump off for the first 4 rds. I was able to keep up with another athlete who did (318) but I fatigued out on the last 4 rounds and had to step up step down which decreased my split. I also had the box to my side and would step up jump down faster on the same leg using the opposite leg in the next round. Ended up with 257 reps.

    • Just had a woman at my gym, not signed up for the open to the workout as we are doing it in class. She’s small 5’1-2″, 120lbs. Can’t cycle the Overheads but held onto the bar through the transition and did step-ups the whole time. It wasn’t a judged workout, but I hold my athletes to high standards for everything they do. She hit 8 + 20, so 260 reps. So for an athlete who can blow through the bar work I’d say 10 rounds is there, or is close. Giving it a go in a couple of hours myself.

      • I played with a version of stepping up, hopping down last night, and was able to consistently get 15 reps in 24 seconds. We’ll see how my quads hold up with the step ups, but I am thinking its more than feasible to get 10+ rounds this way.

        • Agreed. I got just shy of 10 rounds as a male, and I’m not a beast athlete by any means. I did my deads at a very controlled easy to judge consistent pace. Had I pushed the pace there I definitely could have made time, and I will say with the step-ups as I got into the workout I did zone out a little and slowed on them a little mainly because I wasn’t focused on going fast on them, but using them to breathe and recover.

    • Something I’m going to try are step-ups/jump downs, as opposed to step-ups/step-downs. I think they are slightly faster for me than 24″ jumps, especially once I get gassed, and I’m hoping less taxing. (I’m m47, 6’1″-6’2″, 195).

  9. Surprised myself with this one, was aiming for 200. Did all the barbell work unbroken and quickly. Box jumps were bounding, kinda curious if stepping down would benefit me but won’t be doing this again as I’m not going to Regionals. 234

  10. Are using your hands to push off you legs during step ups allowed? I messed around with this style today and felt it to be effective. Plates in my ankles limit my rebound ability.

  11. So…288. All step-ups and step down. All bar work was unbroken. Just doing this to have fun so no redoing the workout. Don’t think I could have improved much. First set was 53 seconds, so no lightning fast, and was able to sustain the pace, losing 1-2 seconds each round. Box Jumps were good for metabolic recovery, I was able to pretty much put my hands right on the bar. I’m not terribly strong, so not super fast on the overhead or deads, just moved through everything at a very consistent pace. If you’re not good at box jumps, I’d say step-ups are the way to go. I’m decent at them and can rebound them, but I don’t forsee myself getting that score with box jumps. Hope that info helps some of you trying to make the decision on what to do.

    • Thanks for the case study. Really puts my mind at ease for using the step up method. After years of trying to get my “cankle” back to 100% from an injury, it’s just not worth the risk of being laid up for another 6 months. Again, the info is much appreciated!!!

  12. 302 reps, stepping up and down, unbroken bar work except for one drop where I accidentally headed for the box. Had tested rebounding box jumps at a 1 minute pace that I didn’t feel like I could keep up. Kept a <55sec pace entire 10 min.

  13. 1.273.
    2. High Hang Snatch work at 75-80%(185-185-190-195-200).
    Video will hopefully be up tonight.

  14. 290.

    trying to decide if I wanna do it again. unbroken all bar work and after 1 round of rebounding, I started stepping up and hopping down and seamed the most effecient.

  15. 290- I can beat this fairly easily with less step-ups…..yes, that’s right I did do step-ups. First 3 rds straight box jumps, 4-9 10ish step ups and 5 ish box jumps.

  16. 222- All step-ups didn’t want to snap my shit up. Never stopped moving, had to fix my shitty make-shift box once or twice. Meh

    PS-I hope I didn’t buy $80 worth of chains for two benching days, also are we done dead lifting/benching/strict pull-upping aka jacked and tan movements until the opens over or what?

  17. 272. Probably should have paced the first few rounds a little better, as they took a toll on me later.

  18. 290
    Did bounding for the first 3 rds, then went to step ups. Should have gone another 2 or 3 rds with bounding, main concern was not stopping, and jumped the gun a little early by switching to step ups.

    If you want 300+ you gonna have to do bounding box jumps.

  19. 286. Somewhat disappointed but this was my goat workout. I locked up after 5 rounds and everything slowed down.

  20. Did a test run Thursday with actual box jumps and it completely gassed me.. Only hit 235. First round I completed in :53 and second round in :56 All down hill after after.

    Today I decided the step ups and got 281 reps. Never once stopped on the bar and held a consistent pace. First round I completed in :54..and I was able to hold a great pace since I don’t have a huge gas tank like most for this wod.

    Only thing I want to try now is the step up and jump down method… Anyone have luck with that?

    • I did a step up then hop down. Felt fast and controlled and wasn’t nearly as winded as the first 2 rounds I did the rebound method. I just felt the hop down is more efficient because it takes more energy to spring up then step down rather then step up and hop down

      • I tried it today and it’s VERY easy. Also gonna work on a “skipping” method that I was told about yesterday before camp. I’ll get vid if it’s good.

  21. 288 thurs, 330 Saturday – have video of both

    Tried corner jumps for first time ever, good – perhaps slight advantage over straight on. Rebound all the way and remembered to hold the bar this time, also shortened transition between rounds.

    Had a plan to rebound for 4 then alternate step down/ jump up rounds with rebound rounds the rest but found out that step down box jumps are gay (after 5 of them) when trying to go fast and I would rather take a slightly longer pause on top of the box and rebound. This measure was to control breathing but the pause did the job.

  22. 13.2 324 reps

    Out of straight up fear by the social media about Achilles ruptures we are making people step. I stepped everyone. I’m not being paid, and I want a chance at regionals. Won’t happen if I’m injured… Hoping my score is enough.

  23. I got 291, doing step up, hop down. I was way gassed at the end.

    I didn’t focus much on getting through my deads quickly.

    I want to do it again tomorrow to try and get 10 rounds.

  24. 315- Stepped up and down every rep. No breaks, barbell stuff fast. First two rounds done in 1:30. Subsequent rounds were 1 min even almost every round. Never felt gassed, my quads were just killing me doing the step ups.

  25. 286
    wanted 300 plus but I’m ok with it seeing as my rt calf has been bothering me for 6 weeks. As of Tuesday I didn’t think I old do jumps if they came up. Did a “skipping” method step up/down using the same leg to step up for 15 reps then alternating legs each round. It worked great and I was on track to easily break 300 till round 7 when my calf started cramping. Had to step up with left leg last 3 rounds which got tiring and then got a little sloppy on the transitions to/from bar. Never got gassed at all. You can break 300 with steps but never stop moving and you gotta nail the transitions to/from the bar.

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