CrossFit Open 23.2: Predictions, Workout Tips, Schedule

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January 24, 2023
CrossFit Open 23.2

CrossFit Games season is upon us! We’re putting together a series of workout predictions and training tips to help you set a huge PR this Open season.

Have you read our CrossFit Open 23.1 prediction? It’s pretty spicy for an opening workout—but assuming we can predict the future, this guide will walk you through our 23.2 workout prediction and how to prepare for the hypothetical workout. Check back for when the actual individual and teams workouts are released!

CrossFit Open 23.2 Workout Prediction

Let’s start with the fitness workout prediction and then break it down as we go. Here’s ours:

12 Minute Time Cap:

Complete the following:

  • 10 Deadlifts 225/185lbs
  • 10 24/20inch Dumbbell Box Step Overs (50/35 lbs)
  • 15 Deadlifts
  • 15 Dumbbell Box Step Overs
  • 20 Deadlifts
  • 20 Dumbbell Box Step Overs
  • 25 Deadlifts
  • 25 Dumbbell Box Step Overs

Continued in increments of 5 until the clock hits 15 minutes (i.e. 30, 35, 40, etc.)

CrossFit Open 23.2 Clues

Keep an eye out on the CrossFit Games Instagram page for more clues. Last year, they dropped hints a few weeks ahead of time, including a Wordle-type puzzle for Open workout 22.1

Below we break down some clues about the workout and our rationale for the movement/format of 23.1.

Rationale for Deadlifts

Deadlifts are a staple of CrossFit Open programming. They’ve made an appearance 9 out of 12 year that the Open has been held.

They last time they appeared was in 2022 (in the second Open workout, as it so happens). If they don’t appear in 23.2, there’s a solid chance they’ll come up in the third workout the following week.

Rationale for Dumbbell Box Step Overs

Sticking with the theme from our 23.1 predictions, we’re using a “same but different” approach to this prediction that slightly alters last year’s second Open workout.

In our 23.1 predictions, we suggested this could be the first year for strict HSPU in the open. Similarly, dumbbell box stepovers would add a linearly progressed movement that tests both strength and endurance. Less explosive movement than a box jump, sure. But it’ll be a grind combining these two weighted exercises.

We’ve seen box step overs (2019) and box jump overs (2022) in Open programming before. Box jumps have made 7 appearances, the latest coming in 2021.

Rationale for 12 Min Time Cap

When programming high rep deadlifts, CrossFit Open officials typically use shorter duration workouts—likely to prevent injuries caused under fatigue or poor form. Last year’s deadlift workout, for example, was capped at 10 minutes.

We chose 12 minutes this year because it’s slightly longer than last while still being the mid-range for a Metcon. The weighted box step overs also take slightly longer than box jumps, so from a programming standpoint, the extra two minutes will enable athletes to separate themselves at the end of the workout.

Crossfit Open 23.2 Announcement

The CrossFit Games season officially begins on February 16, 2023. Workouts are announced on Thursday and athletes have until Monday at 5pm to submit their scores.

If your affiliate doesn’t submit your scores by the deadline, there is no way to add your score back into the database. So if you want to do the workout multiple times to attempt the best score, it’s best to save the date for the announcement and plan to do your first workout that night!

Crossfit Open 23.2 Scaled

There are scaling options available for the community if the RX workouts aren’t an option given your fitness level. Last year, Adrian Bozman at CrossFit HQ released the “three tiers” to help athletes decide if they should go RX or scale the workout. Watch below:

Crossfit Open 23.2 Equipment List

For this hypothetical workout, you would need:

  • Barbell (with weights up to 225lbs)
  • A 24/20 inch box
  • 50/35lb dumbbells

Below we’ll break down how you should approach this workout.

crossfit open deadlifts

CrossFit Open 23.2 Strategy

Basically, we’re betting that if week one is heavy on gymnastics, week two will be heavy on barbell/dumbbell strength training. The dumbbell/barbell combination will be tough on your arms, shoulders, legs, and back—basically everywhere. Anyone who’s ever done high reps of step overs know that your heart rate would get pretty jacked up during this event, too.

Now, assuming our crystal ball prediction is accurate, let’s break down how to tackle this workout to get a great score.

Here’s the WOD again:

Complete the following:

  • 10 Deadlifts 225/185lbs
  • 10 24/20inch Dumbbell Box Step Overs (50/35lbs)
  • 15 Deadlifts
  • 15 Dumbbell Box Step Overs
  • 20 Deadlifts
  • 20 Dumbbell Box Step Overs
  • 25 Deadlifts
  • 25 Dumbbell Box Step Overs

Continued in increments of 5 until the clock hits 15 minutes (i.e. 30, 35, 40, etc.)

1- Set Your Barbell Up Perpendicular to Your Box

Not to sound like a broken record—we had a similar tip in 23.1—but transitions will matter in this workout too, especially in the earlier rounds when the reps are low. With the barbell perpendicular to the dumbbells and box, you only need to take one step to your box to grip your dumbbells always—whereas if it’s parallel, you’ll end up on the opposite side on all the rounds ending in 5, adding a few unnecessary seconds of dead time.

If the coaches at your affiliate set it up a different way, mention this! You want to be as close as possible to your box.

2- Drop the Deadlifts, Even from the Early Rounds

Grip strength is going to be a limiting factor for many by the end of this workout, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the beginning.

Dropping deadlifts at the top of each rep will help save your hands and forearms. If you’re afraid this will add time to your score, drop in sets of 3 or 5 instead. But if you go down with the bar as it falls, it shouldn’t add too much time. Practice beforehand if you’re unsure of the rhythm.

It’ll be worth the investment at the end if you can still string together reps without your hands failing you.

3- Recover (and Separate Yourself) on the Step Overs

Smart competitors find ways to recover or take mini breaks during the workout, which mitigates the full breaks you take during the workout. Here, because deadlifts require you to tighten your core and breathe with the movement (to perform it both safely and efficiently you should do this; don’t try to game it), step overs are where you can get your heart rate under control.

Focus on metronomic breathing; inhale as you step off the box and exhale as you step back on. Don’t put the dumbbells down unless you absolutely have to, and if you need to, put them on the box, not the floor.

That’s really going to be the key to this workout: not stopping. It’s only 12 minutes, so you need all the time you possibly can to bank reps, even when it hurts.

About Julien Raby