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Move Like a Ninja or Use The Force…Up To You.

April 05, 2013

13.5 posted on Wednesday night, help and it’s a challenging WOD.  4 minutes of thrusters and chest to bar pullups with a “reward” of 4 more minutes of work if you complete the required number of reps (90) in the required time period.  Basically, it’s repeating Fran if you are really fit.


THE GOAL IS TO COMPLETE 1 ROUND!  Who cares what happens in round 2, that will take care of itself.


I am writing this strategy for those with the goal of completing the 90 reps in 4 minutes or less.  If you make it, and get another 4 minutes, strategy plays a part, but it’s basically just surviving.  Trust me on this.  If you can do 15 thrusters and 15 unbroken chest to bar pullups, I believe 90 in 4 minutes is attainable.  If you have, say less than 5 UB CTB pullups, it might be pretty tough.  But we can all handle the thrusters.  It’s just whether you really want to.


The few strategy sites I have seen recommended going out slow.  I do not agree.  You need to be calm, but if you want to get 90 reps in 4 minutes, and you plan to break, there is no time for “slow”.  Go fast, but think “relax”.  If you break, you will need to be extremely disciplined on your rests and re-sets.  I do not recommend “lighting yourself on fire” from the start, but 85-90% perceived rate of exertion is your starting point.  That should feel uncomfortable from the start, but feel like you could go faster.


I have a 2:40ish Fran (sometimes faster).  I completed the first 90 like this: 15 UB Thrusters, 12-3 CTB pullups, 15 Thrusters, 9-3-3 CTB PU, 11-4 Thrusters,  6-3-3-3 CTB PU.  I took intentional breaks on the early pullups and broke the last set of thrusters because I was at 2:30 or so. I had some time, and I knew the 2nd 4 minutes would get real long, real fast.  I finished the first Fran in about 3:40.  I watched the Julie Foucher video, and she took a similar approach, breaking the thrusters in 8-7 after the first set, finishing the first Fran at 3:40.  Julie has a sub 3 Fran (I’m guessing 2:30ish) and is the second fittest woman in the world.  She can pace a little more than most of us.  I haven’t watched the video from Santa Cruz, I’m not sure how much you can learn from Froning or CLB, other than be really handsome/pretty and move like a ninja.


Ok, for the most part, we are a gym of normal people.  If you have a 3 minute Fran, you can pace a little.  I can think of 3 athletes with 3 minute Fran’s.  If not, you will need to push very hard to finish all 90 reps.  The 4 minutes goes by fast, and the second half melts away.  Can you break?  Yes, I think you can.  But, throw splits out the window.  Each 15/15 can be done in an easy 1:20, right?  The problem is #3 is considerably harder than #1.  I don’t think you can honestly use rest intervals here.  I can do a 15/15 in about 49-51s fresh (I tested this).  I have fast thrusters and pretty fast CTB butterfly pullups.  That interval repeat ain’t happening without lungs of a porpoise.  These aren’t like wall ball shots in 13.3.



Many of you will consider breaking these up.  I recommend a 9-6 split.  I like this better than 8-7, 7 just seems like more.  10-5 is ok, but 10 will feel like a lot by round 3.  Once you drop, the second the bar hits the ground, give your self a quick 5 second count and pick it up.  I said it last night, but a bar drop on a thruster is a minimum of 8 seconds.  Use this to your advantage, but understand you are giving away 24 seconds with 3 drops.


If possible, I highly encourage you to go UB on set 1, then 9-6 in round 2 and 9-6 in round 3.  You will want to give your self 1 minute to do your final set of pullups.  Grind reps when needed, and rest in the front rack to complete these sets.



This is where you “pace.”  Once CTB goes, they go.  We saw this fall apart on Wednesday night.  I recommend a very conservative approach here.  If you think 10s are do-able, do 7-6-2.  The top score in the world comes from Scott Panchik, who did sets of 5.  If you think sets of 5 is pushing it, I recommend sets of 3.  These smaller sets will give you a chance to catch your breath, but you need to give quick shake, and get on the bar.


Singles – test quick singles!  Pull, drop, shake hands, re-grip, pull again.  Single chest to bar pullups can be done very quickly.  Test these – I will run some numbers on Thursday.  Be aware, a lot of jumping is involved – use the lowest bar possible.  Like singles in any exercise, if you get lazy, you will hemorrhage time.  Practice quick singles!  I was using these in my second round – they work.


If you are working in sets, I recommend a quick break before transitioning to thrusters.  Meaning, if you are doing sets of 5 pullups, I recommend 5-5 then 3, quick rest and shake, 2.  I want you to be ready to bang out as many thrusters as possible.  If you are doing sets of 3, go 3-3-3-3-2 quick shake, then 1.  It will be a quick flush before a big set of thrusters.


If you make it to the second 4 minutes, use the Force.


Vanessa Uses The Force

Vanessa Uses The Force

Workout of the Day


Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 4 minutes of:
100 pound Thruster, 15 reps
15 Chest to bar Pull-ups

If 90 reps (3 rounds) are completed in under 4 minutes, time extends to 8 minutes.
If 180 reps (6 rounds) are completed in under 8 minutes, time extends to 12 minutes.
If 270 reps (9 rounds) are completed in under 12 minutes, time extends to 16 minutes.

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