13.4 is seemingly a “run into the wall” workout, with no room for strategy or real variability. However, after testing this morning, I actually believe there is as much to be gained here from a tactful approach, as all the other WODs of the 2013 season.
Clearly 13.4 is very grip intensive. Spealler and Holmberg both complained immediately about grip after finishing the demo on the announcement show. This led me to question immediately whether touch & go reps were appropriate for the piece, despite the fact that I have always believed they were significantly faster.
Here’s video of our testing:
As you can see Adam is clean and efficient with both styles. Also, as you can see, they take almost the exact same amount of time. This leaves me no choice but to recommend dropping every rep of the Clean & Jerk. It will take discipline and a non-bouncy set of bumpers, but with a grip intensive workout, not having to control the bar back to the floor will make a huge difference overall. You should do your own testing and see if your pace is similar.
Here are some numbers:
>C&J 5 reps – 17 seconds
>TTB 5 reps – 8 seconds
>C&J – 3.4 seconds per rep
>TTB – 1.6 seconds per rep
To complete the round of 18 (126 reps):
>63 C&J 215 sec.
>63 TTB 101 sec.
>5:16 total work
>1:44 total rest
This would allow for nine planned 10 second rest intervals to be spread over the piece, and another 15-ish seconds for transitions. Yes, I understand that it will be nearly impossible for anyone to do this amount of reps, but the notion of planned rests can help everyone. For maximal success on 13.4 the athlete cannot be forced into rest, they must at least have a notion of where they will allow themselves to rest.
-Drop the bar every rep to save grip and time under load (or no more than 3 touch & go reps), but stay as close as possible, and re-grip immediately.
-Find the least bouncy set of plates in your gym. Comp plates are the holy grail.
-Hook grip every rep, and thumbs around the bar on TTB.
-All Push Jerks.
-Wear the shoes you’re comfortable doing TTB in. WL shoes are unnecessary.
-Break TTB well before failure, especially if you’re not planning rest intervals. However…
-Plan rest intervals.
Even with an improbable score of 126 reps there is space for 1:45 worth of rest. If you do not plan these rests you will be left with your hands on your knees, unable to recover from an early flame out. I will not suggest exactly where to use them, but I will suggest planning them early—round of 9, and possibly 6 on—and not allowing for any extraneous waste (chalk, adjusting clips).
Every 30 sec for 3 minutes:
1 Power Clean & Push Jerk @ 65%
*Immediately perform 2 TTB after every rep.