CrossFit Open WOD 13.5 – Preparation, Injury Prevention and General Advice

Sweat Angels - there will be lots of them!

Sweat Angels - there will be lots of them!

Open Workout 13.5

Dave Castro promised blood, sweat and tears and he was right...the elite athletes will be doing it tough while most of us will have a nice 4mins AMRAP to complete...rewarded for your awesomeness by having more time to show how awesome you are!

This article will look at how to prepare for this workout to maximize your potential in this workout.

13.5 looks like this...

4 minute AMRAP of:
15 Thrusters (100 / 65 lbs)
15 Chest to bar Pull-ups
*4 minute bonus for every 90 reps (3 rounds) completed.

General comments:

  • For the good to elite Crossfitters, the thrusters aren't the major issue...getting the work done in the time allocated will be about how fast you can do Chest-To-Bar (CTB) pullups.
  • The key to higher scores will be in how tight you can keep your technique under fatigue. Both Sam Briggs and Jason Khalipa had their form break down before Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and Rich Froning's did.
  • Camille's form in her thrusters and CTB pullups was the most impressive of the lot. She had maximum efficiency and did not waste a lot of energy or time with aberrant movements.
  • Your hands will probably tear - make sure they are taped up as best you can for this one.
  • Discuss your strategy with your coach...I think a planned approach would be better than a go-as-fast-as-you-can approach but that is a personal opinion. I think small time goals and planned rests will help.




+ The basis for a good thruster is a great front squat - so good, mobile hips and ankles and then shoulders that can carry the load in the press portion.

+ Mobilize your hips - this really is where most CrossFitters are too restricted - use a Lacrosse/Massage Ball in your hips - the key point here is to have your knees bent up, knees together and feet apart. This will stretch out your hip rotators and hip capsule better. (See Brandon and Ev demonstrate this in the pictures below)

+ Mobilize your ankles - the easiest way is to lunge and have a resistance band pulling your ankle behind you (See Ev demonstrate this in the pictures below)

+ Maintain good form - see the pictures below for a nice example.

+ Use a foam roller to release your lats (behind), your serratus (side) and your obliques (front) (See Brandon demonstrate this on the roller below)

+ Keep your elbows UP - if they crash into your knees, you can sprain or even fracture your wrist! You have been warned!


Massage ball in posterior hip


Keep your knees together and your feet apart!

Resistance band lunge - get that knee past the toes!

Resistance band lunge - get that knee past the toes


Nice Thruster (Front Squat) - note the straight back and high elbows


Chest to Bar Pull Ups

Chest to Bar Pull Ups

Chest To Bar Pull Ups:

+ Stretch your pecs out - pulling into your chest will need shoulders that can roll back

+ Use a spikey ball to release the back of your shoulders - this will give you room to press as well as pull strongly

+ Stretch your forearms, wrists and fingers

+ Tape your hands up well




Spikey ball into the posterior capsule/muscles

Spikey ball into the posterior capsule/muscles


  • For most of us "enthusiasts", this will be a 4 minute AMRAP with some number below 90
  • For regional level athletes, I expect them to be getting at least 90 reps in 4mins - probably 135 reps in total
  • For games level athletes, I expect them to get 170+
  • Warm up well, be consistent in your technique and a good score will be possible

Good luck, stay safe and go hard!

You comments on the workout, this blog or any questions you have are more than welcome 🙂

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