Thoughts on Reebok CrossFit Open WOD #12.3

Workout 12.1 allowed the light and fast to show off. 12.2 demanded either brute strength or refined technique. 12.3 is a classic triplet featuring three common movements found in the CrossFit world and a time domain that will be a game changer for sure. Let’s take a look.

Workout 12.3

Complete as many rounds and reps
as possible in 18 minutes of:
15 Box jumps (M 24″ box / F 20″ box)
12 Push press (M 115 lb / F 75 lb)
9 Toes-to-bar
STRATEGY
 With longer workouts, efficient movement is key. You don’t want to waste energy because it will add up over time. The first thing that will help you is mobility. Warm up the Achilles for box jumps, shoulders AND thoracic spine for push press, and midline for toes to bar. Foam roller is your friend, but so are lacrosse balls or tennis balls taped together. Here are some links to help you out, all from the mobility guru, Kelly Starrett:
-Perfecting the box jump with K-Star and Carl Paoli (aka much more information than you needed to know about the box jump) – UPDATE: instead of this long video, you might want to check out the one embedded below
If you can do this mobility work the night before or earlier in the day before the actual wod, it’s going to help your body get organized even more. (Another reason to keep on your mobility everyday for any WOD, eh?) 
UPDATE: Here’s a great video that covers prep work by Carl Paoli specifically for 12.3 and is not as long as the 23 min video on JUST box jumps above
Once your in the workout, moving efficiently will allow you to come out on top. Here are the components of the workout and best practices:
1. Box jumps – you must jump up to the box, you cannot step up. Once on top, you must stand straight up with hips and knees locked out, demonstrating control. You MAY NOT spring off immediately like a normal box jump. This will reduce cycle time, but it will do so for everyone. Once control is established, you may step down or jump down. There is no rule on whether your full foot should be on the box or not. To stay efficient, use the elasticity and fast twitch muscles to drop from the top of the box and spring back up. In other words, don’t think of each box jump as starting on the ground and jumping up, but rather, starting on top of the box, dropping down, and immediately jumping back up. If you rest, rest on top of the box. I understand this might be hard for slower twitch people, but this is going to be the best way to cycle fast. Carl Paoli in the video above describes the top of the box as being “cold” and the floor being “hot.” You don’t want to be in the hot zone for long.
2. Push press – this must start on the ground, so you’ll have to clean it to your shoulders. Although the workout calls it a push press, you MAY shoulder press, push press, push jerk, or split jerk the weight above your head. A full lockout and arms over ears with feet together (esp. if you are push jerking or split jerking) is a good rep.  You MAY NOT do the movement with the bar behind the neck. You MAY treat this like Fight Gone Bad style and cycle through push presses quickly. This is similar to the box jumps where you want to think about the top of the push press being “cold” and the bottom being “hot.” Don’t spend too much time resting with the bar on your shoulders. Rather, if you need to pause for a second, do it in a locked out position up top. This is a moderately heavy weight and smaller/weaker people will need to drop mid-set. Do your best to string all 12 if you can, this will make up significant time since we all know you won’t want to pick that bar up if you drop it. Also, if this is a heavy weight for you, make sure to get that bar on the rack position aka the anterior deltoids aka your shoulders and chest, so that your BODY can move the bar, not your arms.

3. Toes to bar – this is a movement where you hang from a pull up bar and bring your shoes to touch the bar. I say shoes and not toes because any part of the shoe may touch the bar: the toes, the sole, or the top of the shoes. Once they touch, you have to bring your feet down and behind your body to establish full range of motion. This movement was in last year’s sectionals and two things happen: hand ripping and midline failure. Make sure to tape up or use grips (grips are actually not allowed, see the ruling here). Here’s a link to CrossFit Oahu’s “Ultimate Hand Taping Round Up.” Also, to be efficient, learn how to kip t2b. Here’s a fantastic video from Jon Gilson and Again Faster on kipping t2b. Remember to close that shoulder like a kipping pull up.
Overall, play to your strengths, but consider your weaknesses. If you’re a small and agile person, you might be fond of box jumps, but you’re loathing the push presses. Make up time on the box so that you have more available on the bar if you need to drop and rest. If you like the idea of push presses, but you don’t have the lungs to go 18 minutes, bang those out and stay smooth and steady on the box jumps. You get the point. For everyone, lungs will be burning and yes, it’s going to hurt. Mentally it’s going to be toughest in the middle, probably starting around minute 7 (I know some of you are saying minute 3), but hopefully you have good energy and the supportive environment to hammer the last round or two. 
Remember, every rep counts, (each round is 36 total reps) so  keep that in your mind when you’re hurting but there’s 30 seconds on the clock. Get as much work done as possible and you shouldn’t be disappointed with yourself.
if this is how you feel at the end, then good!
REACTION
This workout reminds me of the hero workout “Jack”: 
AMRAP in 20 minutes of:
10 push press, 115/75
10 kettlebell swings, 55/35
10 box jumps, 24/20″
Having just done this a few months ago with Steve’s Club kids, I found the push press to be the more challenging aspect. Ironically at the time, I had to break up the first few sets of them, but then strung the last few rounds. 
This workout is a different rep scheme, but around the same time domain. I think it’s a more classic CrossFit workout and hopefully didn’t surprise too many people, especially after two mono-modal workouts of burpees and snatches. I think the push presses will be the deciding factor; those who can handle the weight and string all 12 will prevail, even over those who can box jump or do t2b excellently.
PREDICTION
Iceland Annie did the demo for mainsite and I think she’s going to stay on top with 491 reps (13+ rounds). When she first came on the scene, there was a video of her doing t2b and she was just SO efficient at them. Add on top of that her strength, and you’ve got the #1 score for women. 
I’m giving Dan Bailey the nod this week. With the fastest deadlift/high box jump workout at Regionals last year and edging out Froning in last year’s sectional workout involving t2b, I think he takes first with 450+ reps. Why less than Annie? Because women have a shorter way up on the box which will add up over time. And Annie is just a beast.
What are your thoughts on 12.3? Any predictions?

CrossFit Delaware Valley’s take on 12.3 by Sheldon Danley – “Stay Calm, Keep Moving”

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