130322 – 13.3 Strategy & Tips

13.3 Strategy & Tips

Ahhhhh… I love this one. Lot’s to talk about, let’s get right to business. I’m going to break this into sections so it will be a little easier to digest. Here we go:

Wall Balls

>>Have a strategy and stick to it. The Wall Balls ARE NOT the crux of this piece. If you are too aggressive with them you will utterly fail on the Muscle-Ups, which ARE the crux of the piece. Last year we did many different tests with this one, especially on the Wall Balls. They must be paced well, and performed calmly. We got the timing down pretty closely, and had many of our athletes use our plan with great success. For men, the cadence of a Wall Ball shot is almost the same across the board. The only real differing factors are height, and speed of the squat (everything is everything). On the men’s side, almost across the board, 30 Wall Balls take roughly 1:00. For women, on the 9′ target, height plays far more of a roll than it does for the men. Ideally on the women’s side, due to the distance traveled with the lower target, 30 Wall Balls take roughly 0:45. However, this is based on a 5’7″ woman with normal reach. A smaller woman will end up in the 0:50-0:55 range because the ball will end up traveling roughly the same distance that it will for the men (85-95″ per rep). The only caveat is that women who are accustomed to using a 10′ target will have a distinct advantage when metabolic demand is factored in; if nothing else, it will “feel” easier. Here’s our most effective pacing strategies:

1) 4 sets of 25, then sets of 20, 20, 10 with exactly 10 seconds rest. This was, by far, the most successful on 12.4. This ends up being roughly a 5:45 Karen. It is a difficult pace to hold, but if you’re good at the movement, it should leave you feeling fresh for the rest of the effort. If and only IF you are great at Wall Ball (Jason Hoggan would be an example), you can make the opening set a full 50 reps, and cut your overall time to 5:30. The likelihood, however, is that you’re not as good as Jason (4:51 UB Karen).

2) 10 sets of 15 with exactly 10 seconds rest. This was used quite a bit also, especially for those of you who don’t love Wall Ball, and have a tendency to burn out on bigger sets. This ends up being roughly a 6:30 Karen. I would recommend this pace for anyone who knows they will struggle a bit with the Muscle-Ups, or for those that, again, aren’t the best at Wall Ball. These are basically 0:40 intervals, that will allow the legs to flush, and should keep the heart rate relatively low. If you choose to use this pacing, I would recommend catching the ball after the last rep, and resting against the wall with your chest pressed into it and your arms at your side. This will limit the amount of times you have to pick up the ball, and will insure that your shoulders can rest as much as possible.

>Wear your Weightlifting shoes. The purpose of WL shoes is to raise the heel, and add more ROM to the ankle. This gives the person wearing them the ability to squat with a torso position that is as vertical as possible. Good Wall Balls require an extremely vertical torso, therefore, the WL shoes would give the athlete the biggest advantage. I know that many of you will complain about doing Double-Unders in WL shoes. Honestly, at this point, I would hope that this wouldn’t be an issue. The advantage gained from them is far greater than the detriment on either the Double-Unders or Muscle-Ups.

>Don’t limit your Squat. Yes, intuitively it would make sense to squat barely below parallel to limit extra ROM. This, however, means that the athlete has to actively control and slow the eccentric phase of the squat, and therefore will accumulate more fatigue then they would if they simply fell to the bottom of the squat, and allowed the SSC (Stretch Shortening Cycle) to propel them concentrically. This means that if you’ve been doing your HBBS and Front Squats properly—load, fall, recoil—you should be able to use the exact same style of squat that you’ve practiced. Finally, I would also recommend the use of whatever sleeves or other compression gear you use when squatting (except for belts). Read this: Spencer Arnold on the Application of the Squat.


>Try to move through as calmly and precisely as possible. I know there isn’t much strategy here, but these are, for some, a huge source of fatigue and worry. Frantically picking up the rope and trying to rush to start will not make these easy. I would recommend calmly walking to the rope, taking a few seconds to set your hands perfectly, then taking at least two deep breaths before starting. Most of you know it is much harder to start DU again after stopping. Clean sets of 60-30, 50-40, or 30-30-30 (or simply unbroken), with a few breaths in between, should allow for the least energy expenditure, and the quickest times. Jason Hoggan did 50-40 last year in just over a minute, and was relatively fresh moving to the rings.


>Don’t bite off more than you can chew. What I mean by this is, even if you have a massive set of unbroken Muscle-Ups, you will need to be far more conservative here. If you have 15 plus UB, plan on a first set of 5-7. If you have 12-15 UB, plan on a first set of 3-5. When your respiration is elevated, and you’re in a state of muscular fatigue, it is more important to use small/conservative sets, then to miss and waste valuable time and energy. A missed MU is one of the most costly misses in the sport, it wastes at least 15-20 seconds, and takes a massive mental and physical toll on the athlete. I would even recommend simply getting a set of two reps immediately, to allow your body to recover a bit cardiovascularly, and prime the change in movement pathway.

>Singles may be the answer. This morning I spoke to Alex Tubbs, who was 20th in the world on 12.4, and won the North Central Region with a score of 281 reps. Alex told me that he did ALL of his MU as singles. He said he would do one, drop down immediately, reach right back up, and only broke for chalk every five reps. He felt that after the abuse that the arm extensors took on the Wall Ball, that he didn’t want the eccentric fatigue of lowering back through the dip. We tested this method for 12.4, and found that quick singles were only 3-5 seconds slower for a set of ten reps. There is a huge drawback, however: if you rely heavily on the momentum of the swing that carries over after the first rep, this style will certainly make your reps harder. I would only recommend singles for those of you who have a short swing, and can re-grip the rings quickly.

>Watch the clock. Muscle-Ups, in my experience, are the most over-rested and dilly-dallied (for lack of a better term) on movement in our sport. I can’t give exact rest intervals because everyone will be on a different rep scheme, and in a different state of fatigue, but I will say: make sure you try to limit yourself to a specific rest interval every time you come off the rings. Whatever it is, stick to it. Also, it doesn’t take thirty seconds to chalk up—get back to the rings!

WOD 130322:

Movement Prep:

1) EMOM for 5 minutes:

2 1 & 1/4 Front Squats @ 50%

2) EMOM for 5 minutes:

2 Push Press @ 50%

3) 3 rounds of:

30 Double-Unders
2 Muscle-Ups

Rest 1:2

*Notes: Limit transition time as much as possible. Chalk hands before beginning DU to allow for a faster transition.


CrossFit Games Open WOD 13.3

53 thoughts on “130322 – 13.3 Strategy & Tips

  1. I am moving to CO Springs in May. Are there any coaches or affilliates in that area that coach the Outlaw Way?

  2. Yeah, but we don’t HAVE a ten pound wall-ball, coach…..  

      Margaret L. Cohen, J.D., Ph.D. Collegiate Professor  Member, UMUC Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) Member, Council of University System Faculty (CUSF) Business Management and Human Resources Management University of Maryland University College    703 960-0418  drmaggiecohen@yahoo.com


  3. 255 reps. Breakdown as follows:
    WBS finished at the 4:34 mark (yes, I’m a short-arse) – 30, 20, then sets of 15 & 10
    D/Us 3×30, finished at the 3 min mark
    M/Us – UB set of 5, then a couple of doubles, then singles. Ran out of time at 15

  4. Did yesterday. Gonna try again with your tips on saturday
    255 reps.
    WBs at 7:40 mark
    60×1, 10×9
    DU’s 9:30 mark (small sets, don’t remember, fucking shoelace was untied)
    MU’s 2 sets of 3, 3 sets of 2, 3 singles

  5. did a test run on 13.3

    got 254
    finished wall balls in 6:45, 2 sets of 25 then it was some sets of 20 and 15. didn’t really get hard i just need to suck it up and stick with the numbers.

    finished double unders in 9:27 using a different rope then usual which ended up being a bad idea

    lost it on the first muscle up and damn near dislocated my shoulders. was pulling some triples and doubles and finally singles but got 14 in 2 min.

    Doing it again on Sat with a normal speed rope hoping to get 1 round in if i can have at least 4-5 min left for the muscle ups

  6. Did it today, 255, my Karen sucked balls at best, going to try the 4 sets of 25 method Sunday, muscle ups were 3-3-3-2-2-1-1, no misses

    • I think my Karen was like 7:20, my PR is 5:50 from last year, time to put my big boy pants on and man up next time

  7. Dude I’m not doing the open. I took your advice working on my tech for the year. Just power cleans and snatches then???

  8. Got to MU’s at 8:27. Only got 16. Any advice coach? Did 2,2,2 then singles. Should I maybe try singles from the beginning? My technique is not the best. I can do 12 UB but when I get really tired I struggle to get one.

  9. 258 reps

    WB- 4 sets of 25, then 5 sets of 10. finished these at 6:18.
    DU- finished these at 8:14
    MU- 2 sets of 3, 2 sets of 2, then singles

    My quads are smoked..

  10. 247
    +17 reps from a year ago, but that’s a big 17.
    Karen at 7:21
    DUs at 9:51
    7 Singles

    WBs 20-15-15-10×10 pushed hard, never dropped the ball and that’s a Karen PR
    DUs have to improve
    MUs I did not expect that level of fatigue in my arms. Only failed one but it was costly.

    Had very good pacers helping me out to limit rest. Overall a fairly successful day.

    • Also used WL shoes and helped a bunch (adidas trainers, flexy forefoot). Highly recommend it. last year I was failing WBs all over the place, all good reps today.

  11. 7months new to Crossfit and used your rest pace scale to a certain degree doing 30-25-15 then 10reps with 19 sec of resting with my chest against the ball letting my arms hang and I finished the wall balls at 7 something (prolly too slow on the reps I guess)

    Made it through the dbl unders with three sets of 15-50-25 at 10:43

    My elbows weren’t tight enough to my ribs on the MUs so I had three no reps but I was glad I made it there

  12. 7months new to Crossfit and used you r rest pace scale to a certain degree doing 30-25-15 then 10reps with 10sec of resting with my chest against the ball letting my arms hang and I finished the wall balls at 7 something (prolly too slow on the reps I guess)

    Made it through the dbl unders with three sets of 15-50-25 at 10:43

    My elbows weren’t tight enough to my ribs on the MUs so I had three no reps but I was glad I made it there

  13. WB – 5×20 then 5×10 – rest 10s – 6:10
    DU’s – 45, 30, 15
    MU’s – 13 (1 FAIL)

    Total – 253

  14. Open 13.3:
    – Wen’t with the 25×4, 20×2, 10 on WB’s. DU’s were a shit show, I don’t care who you are Romo’s are like fuckin boat anchors. Saw a video of Mike McGoldrick and he took his shoes off for MU’s which I think helped out quite a bit. Probably could have gotten through the MU’s if I didn’t explode on the DU’s. Also my score was not judged, done in my garage in my lonesome, so take it for what it’s worth.

  15. 258

    Good strategy and warm up coach. I should have had 260+ but of course I got greedy on the MUs and should have gone to single sooner.

    • …and Coach, I skipped the use of OLY shoes for this one. I think it’s more important to actively keep your hips forward through the movement while in a flatter shoe to allow recoil much closer to parallel. Cuts down on distance traveled. I can’t see dropping into the hole all the way each time as more efficient when we can take advantage of a lack of flexibility. I would love to hear your two cents on my thoughts.

  16. Wall balls 10 sets of 15- 6:18
    Double unders- 8:16
    12 MUs
    Last year I only got 3 MUs

  17. 241. Karen at 6:35, DU’s at 7:55. Had a long time to get that muscle up. Four attempts.

  18. 243
    The worst part is I got those three MU in 15 seconds. The only thing I did well were the MUs. 35 reps into the wall balls and my shoulders felt like a house was on top of them. My legs felt great. Does anyone have any thoughts on the shoulders getting fried?

    • I wonder if you are using momentum from the squat to thrust the ball enough. Like, maybe the timing of the release is off?

  19. Conditioning:
    Finished wall balls in 5:15
    Sets were: 91-29-20-10
    Double unders finished at: 6:15
    Wanted PLENTY of time for muscle ups. Didn’t get as far as I would have liked tough.

  20. 240, DU’s done @ 8:31. Very close on the MU a few times. A little bummed, but I am trying again tomorrow!

    • Redid it today, and I got 241! Happy girl! finished DUs @ 8:08, rested a couple minutes, failed a couple, then, finally got one!

  21. 243

    Been practicing DU’s in my romo’s the last few days and it has been a joke. 5’s 3’s maybe a 10 if I was lucky. All over the place. A couple guys at mpls crossfit took their shoes off after the WB’s so I started to think that might be a good option. Problem was I use a RX medium rope and figured it would break my toe on a miss. Did a slow 8 min Karen (judging standards were very strict) took me 5 attempts to get 10 DU’s then I ditched the romo’s. then 40,39,1. Not much time for mu’s went 3/5 (btw, got my first MU last Monday) 🙂

    Thanks for the great warm up advice
    MFS 1/2/2

  22. 251 – finished WB’s in 7:13, DU’s in 8:53
    No repped somewhere around 5 WB’s (not quite high enough or didn’t hit the wall) – did the 10 sets of 15, no idea about DU’s probably hit my feet 4 times just tried to keep moving – did 3 x 3 MU’s + 1 set of 2 and missed my last attempt.

  23. did it today….
    Stick to wallball strategy of 4×25, 2×20, 10 reps and did it in 5:43min.
    then got stuck with DU and it took me till 9:20min. to get it and tried to get my MU, but could not….anyways….really happy about wallballs 🙂

  24. 1st attempt: 244 (no repped on 4 more MU reps so decided to repeat)
    Wall balls: 5×15; few sets of 10 and then smaller pieces
    Finished DUs at 9:47

    2nd attempt: 246
    Wall balls: 4×15; then sets of 10 -11
    Finished DUs at 10:17 (legs were gassed from 300 wall balls in 2 days)

  25. Did it on Thursday for 258 (7.53 tiebreak) and 3 misses in the last 90 seconds. Thought fuck it I will get them on Monday morning.

    Monday morning 258 (tiebreak of 7.39) got to 18 reps with 30-35 seconds left on clock and failed two reps.

    Fuck, heartbreaking since in Australia apparently everyone is a wall ball/ muscle up machine with 20+ MU’s in them at the back end of this. eg. took 188th in the region for 258 reps.

    Two weeks to go and now I have some work to do fell from 38th to 62nd and a bit of a points deficit. Nothing changes really, just throw myself at these workouts like a demon (as I was going to anyway) and hope its enough to claw my way back.

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