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.
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.