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January 24, 2023

CrossFit Open 23.2 – Workout Description, Strategies and Tips

Written by Julien Raby

Here’s the 23.2 Open workout that was released on 2/23/2023:


Complete as many reps as possible in 15 minutes of:

  • 5 burpee pull-ups
  • 10 shuttle runs (1 rep = 25 ft out/25 ft back)
  • *Add 5 burpee pull-ups after each round.


Immediately following 23.2A, athletes will have 5 minutes to establish:

1-rep-max thruster (from the floor)

CrossFit Open 23.2 Strategy

Here are some tips to get the best time possible on CrossFit Open workout 23.2.

1. Breathe Through Your Burpees

Breathing should be metronomic on the burpees, as it’s the only real point to control the breath and lower the heart rate. Stay conscious of your breath throughout each repetition and don’t let it get out of control.

Along those lines, relax at the bottom of each burpee. This isn’t to say you wilt like a flower and lose flexion in the arms, but let your core relax for a moment before you drive back up.

2. In a Class Setting, Steal a Spot Closest to the Door (or close to the pull-up bar)

This one depends on your gym, but if you don’t have space to run indoors, show up early and steal a spot close to one of the exits where you’ll be running.

Unfortunately, some gym layouts are going to seriously hamper people’s scores as they will have to weave in and out of people and move through obstacles to get outside. Luck favors the prepared in this case.

3. Save Your Shoulders and Forearms

Jump as high as possible on each burpee repetition to save your shoulders for later rounds of the AMRAP and for the 1-RM thruster. It’s better to let the big muscles in your legs acquire fatigue and take the strain off your forearms and shoulders. 

Definitely wear grips to save your hands from tears.

4. Throw Yourself on the Ground After Each Pull-Up

This may sound crazy, but there’s no point at which you should rest during this workout, at least in the traditional “hands on knees” sense. Catch your breath in positions of the movement, as the later sets of burpees (15, 20, 25+) are going to eat up lots of clock if you don’t keep moving through them steadily. 

5. Bank a Heavy Thruster from the First Rep

Yes, the 15-minute AMRAP is going to crush you. No, you shouldn’t take an easy first rep because you’re scared of failing. (At least within reason.)

Many athletes use the first thruster to get a number on the board. Our suggestion is to avoid doing a weight you know you can hit. Don’t go crazy and fail, but put a big number on the board right away—one you’d be reasonably happy with if you missed all the rest of your reps.

Your legs and shoulders will undoubtedly be tired. But five minutes isn’t going to be enough to get your body back to a peak state to take your attempts. So it’s better to get your best shot on the board as soon as possible.

Think about it like an Olympic weightlifting pace. Instead of banking that first rep, start with a heavier second rep. Aspire to hit your third “best” rep on your second or third attempt and save time for a few retries if you miss.

CrossFit Open 23.2 Tips

Here are some additional quick tips to help you get the best score on 23.2 (both sections):

  • Set your bar up perpendicular to the running route, if possible.
  • Be very careful to avoid “no reps” on the shuttle run. Make sure you touch on each end behind the line.
  • Practice a few heavy-ish thrusters before you start the WOD to get a feel for your target weight.
  • Keep chalk nearby at all times. Put some on the pull-up bar if it’s allowed at your affiliate.

Good luck on 23.2a and 23.2b! Check back next week for updates to our other workouts.

Original Workout prediction (Boy, were we wrong on that one :/ )

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

My name is Julien Raby and I’m one of the owner of BoxLife. Here’s my background on LinkedIn if you want more info. I’ve been active pretty much my whole life and I discovered Crossfit about 7 years ago. I want to help you improve your Crossfit performances by giving tips on specific movements, workouts and equipment. You have a question? Get in touch!