I was excited with the announcement of Workout 13.2 for the CrossFit Games Open. Box jumps are probably my best movement so to see them count for half of the reps per round made me happy. I however didn’t realize right away that the standards are allowing a step up this year, where last year they only allowed a step down. The step up is a completely different movement and eliminates most of the advantage rebounding box jumpers have in this workout. It’s confusing why they would allow this for everyone instead of just the oldest Masters division like last year.
So I’ve been hearing conflicting reports on whether or not step ups are the better choice, depending on your level of fitness and ability to rebound. I agree that for the less than average CrossFitter, step ups make perfect sense because they won’t kill your lungs like box jumps will. For the average and slightly above CrossFitter, I’m not sure though. For the elite that won’t have to slow down in a 10 minute workout, rebounding box jumps are clearly the correct choice.
So I had to do some testing of my own in order to feel confident going into the WOD on Sunday. Adam opened up the box for me and I headed in at noon to do a little test of my own. I warmed up a bit, but kept it short so Adam could get out of there since I found out he wasn’t going to do anything. Super nice of him to open up the gym for me so I didn’t want to take up more of his day than I had to. I did 4 rounds of the AMRAP without trying to do any certain pacing or anything. Pretty much going all out.
Pretty shitty camera setup for these videos. I should have done them vertically.
I timed out the splits to see where I was losing ground and it definitely wasn’t the box jumps, which were consistent. I need to get faster on the push presses by not over extending so much and getting on that bar and into the first rep sooner. I took a long time setting my hands and then sat in the rack before the first rep. I should be able to rep out the deadlifts faster too, but have to be careful that I get my shoulders behind the bar. It was getting close on some of those reps, which is good for timing, but at the same time you don’t want any no reps on a workout like this.
I’m glad I did this little test because it gave me a feel for the burn and showed a couple of weak areas where I can knock off valuable seconds. If I clean some of those things up and can keep a steady pace through the middle of the 10 minutes, I should be able to put up a pretty good score.
After a few minutes of rest I tried doing some step ups to see how they felt and how slow they were. With just one round of them (alternating legs) I could feel a burn in my legs before I even got to the 15th rep. I didn’t go crazy fast on them and it took about 32 seconds.
Since this alone took 32 seconds and my transition plus the box jumps were taking 30 seconds, I don’t see this as being a go to for me. I may do one or two rounds of step ups (or maybe 5 or 10 reps of the 15) after the 5 minute mark to catch some air, but it has to be worth it for how much longer it’s going to take. I need to take full advantage of my box jump rebounding in this WOD to have a good score.
When I got home, I did a 100 HR Push-up test since it’s been a couple of months and I wanted to test out a new push-up strategy for high reps with resting sooner and never doing more than 10 unbroken. It seems to have worked out because I did them in 5:04, beating my old PR of 5:42 by 38 seconds!