Top CrossFit Open 23.2 Strategies & Tactics

Written By Charleh Knighton  |  CrossFit, The Open 

CrossFit Open 23.2 WOD is a two-parter with a 15 AMRAP of Burpee Pull-Ups, 50ft Shuttle Runs, and a 1RM Thruster. Here are the ultimate strategies, tips and tactics to crush the CrossFit Open 23.2 workout and get the best score on the leaderboard and deliver on the BIG demands from CrossFit HQ.

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Firstly, you need to make sure you warm up well for the pull ups and shuttle runs, as these will become very taxing for all athletes! Take some time to prepare your cardiovascular system, as your heart rate may get pretty high in this workout. A lot of our tips in this article will be about managing that.

Also, you will want to practice your technique on the burpees to ensure you meet the standards.

In this article, we’ll take you through everything you need to know to absolutely smash this workout. If you’re a scaled or master athlete, we’ll be detailing out more information here.

23.2 Strategies For Pacing To Get Your Best Time

If you’re worried about the shuttle runs, then don’t. That’s not where the workout is won or lost here. It’s incredibly hard to get a skyrocketing score like last week. Your biggest worry is the burpees and pull-ups. Your heart rate is going to get JACKED-UP in this workout and there’s no way to avoid it.

With that being said, here’s how you can counteract it. Breathe. This will come from a combination of pacing the shuttle runs and the burpee pull-ups.

The biggest tip is to take a big deep breath once you’ve done the burpee, before you do the pull up. If you take a breath after the pull-up before the run, you’ll waste time.


Set Up To The Burpee On the 23.2A Open Workout 

Over the years, we’ve seen very variation for burpees and this year is no exception. In 2023, another new movement on the scene is the burpee pull-up. This isn’t new to many of us but is certainly new to the competition floor.

So, what’s the best strategy to get the best score?

Well, anything that reduces fatigue. If, like me, you’ve been practicing alternating legs on your burpees, then you’re going to smash this workout.

With every burpee, if it feels natural to swap legs on the step up the standing position, then you’re going to be in a great place.

The goal here is to keep momentum and stay consistent - aka, you have to keep moving. 

Here are the key points for the "The Burpee" on 23.2:

  • Mark your hands on the floor using chalk so you know where you want to put your hands each time. By doing the burpee in the same place, you'll most likely jump up to the bar without looking and hit it every time
  • Don't "jump" to complete the burpee, instead step up. Trust me, you'll regret it.
    Save energy and hit that consistency. By lasting longer you'll get more reps.

Optimizing "The Pull-Up" For 23.2 Open

In the workout standards, we outline that the pull up bar must be over your maximum height when your arms are outstretched. For many athletes, the pull up bar in the gym will be far higher than you can reach. This will put you at a disadvantage when it comes to repping out quick pull ups.

You are allowed to put something underneath you, like a mat, if the pull up bar is still taller than you height plus your arms fully extended. This will reduce the amount of time it takes you to jump to the rig and rep a pull up out.

Now that you've reduced the "extra" space between you and the rig, it what variation of pull-up should you be doing to get the best score?

  • Only use the  strich(ish) version of your pull up if you're super strong
  • Save your grip by switching your grip - go supinated or MIXED!
  • For most athletes include a kipping pull up 

How To Pace The Burpees Pull Ups For Open 23.2A

You need to pace the burpees so that when you get onto the shuttle runs, you can easily breathe and be able to talk. The workout isn’t won on the burpees, they are simply there to slow you down.

Your burpees should be the same speed the entire time.

If you’re trying to figure out what speed you could maintain for this workout, imagine doing these bar-facing burpees for 10 minutes straight with no breaks. That’s the pace you should maintain.

The "Burpee Pull Up" movement might feel alien to many athletes, but you have to remember that you've done them separately in training nearly every week.

Unlike a straight pull-up, or a straight burpee, it's much harder to get into the zone and churn them out. This movement is far more like a chipper. You have to "chip" away at the burpee and then do the kipping pull-up.

The big difference from other workouts is that many athletes won't be able to do the butterfly pull-up which typically allows them to get more reps, particularly in the Open.

Finally, if you're an athlete that can rep through solid sets of 10 pull-ups when fresh, then your focus will be on the run.

Throughout the run and especially as you near the end of the reps, make sure you shake out your arms to increase the blood flow.

How To Pace The Shuttle Runs For Open 23.2A

This might be completely new to you but for some of you it may be a blast from the past to school days. The technique will be in there somewhere, you might just need to dust off those cobwebs.

There's two strategies to increase your performance without exerting too much energy:

  • Sprint in the first few steps
  • Quick, alternating step on the turn

A couple of pointers for technique on the shuttle runs are as follows:

  1. From the initial push, or starting position, 25ft isn't far at all. Therefore, when we make our first few steps into the 25ft sprint, if we use the momentum behind us, then we only need 3/4 steps to build the speed. After that, we can just let our legs "tick" along until we cross the line.
  2. Next moving onto the turn: To get the quickest turn at the 25 ft mark, the goal is to cross the line with the "first" foot, step with the second and then turn back into the starting position to build the "sprint" momentum that we've outlined in step one.

    Make sure you use alternating legs for the turns and repeat the above points throughout, this will give you the speed and agility to win 23.2 without taking up too much energy.

    You can watch how this is done in our video here.

Final reminder, make sure that you get 3 points of contact behind the line when on you're turn to make sure you achieve the minimum standard. It's a waste of time getting a no rep for something so simiple.

How To Get Your Best Score Yet In 23.2B - 1 Rep Max Thrusters

First, according to, your judge can load the barbell for you ready to complete your first rep. 

That's a huge tip.

With only 5 minutes to load your bar, every second counts. If you got a chance to watch the CrossFit announcement, you will have seen both Khrennikov and Vellner changing their shoes into lifters with the aim to maximize their one-rep max thruster score.

If you're not going for Quarterfinals OR you're not used to using lifters and knee sleeves, then we recommend that you keep your normal CrossFit shoes on. 

If you're an athlete looking to push beyond Quarterfinals, then go for it. This is your time to shine and get a big number logged for this part of the workout.

You don't want to be wasting too much time here on swapping your CrossFit gear, but here's what you can do:

  • Put your knee sleeves on for the metcon and keep them around your ankles. That way, you can quickly pull them up to your knees when it's time to lift

We've written the ultimate guide to Thrusters and how you can crush them on this video article here.

To achieve your best score for 23.2b Thrusters, we would recommend that you take these steps;

  1. Before starting the workout, make sure you've practiced the movement and loaded the bar to a "reasonable" weight for you.
  2. You want to go into your first attempt at a "low"(ish) to heavy weight that you can confidently hit. Your arms will be tired so you want to be sure that you get a score on the door.
  3. You ideally want to squat clean into the thruster squat position straight into the push into the overhead position. You can see this demonstrated here.
  4. Make sure you've planned your weight progressions in advanced and let you judge know. Use the people around you to give you the best score and save time. They have energy to load your bar while you rest.
    You should have time for 3-5 attempts.
  5. If you're used to it, wear a weight belt. Give your torso that extra support.

Below are five common mistakes to avoid to ensure you maximize your chances to get your new PB Thruster:

Mistake 1: Bad rack

You want to make sure that your thruster starts in the best possible front rack position. A good rack position should have the bar sitting on your shoulders so that if you take your hands away from the bar, it will stay in place. So remember, the bar needs to be sitting on your shoulders, and you should just have your hands on the bar.

Mistake 2: Bad stance

More often than not, I see people pick up the bar, and their feet are super narrow. They get into a good front rack position but struggle to then squat because their feet aren’t wide enough.

So remember, in order to have a good stance, you want your feet wide enough so that you can execute a squat very easily. For me, that's feet underneath the shoulders or outside the hips.

Mistake 3: Not using your legs

Remember, your legs are probably much stronger than your arms. So when it comes to the standard barbell thruster, you want to be using your legs as much as possible.

To get the most power and the most efficiency out of your thruster, use your legs and drive out of that front squat as hard as you can. Extend your hips, squeeze your butt cheeks and glutes. And then, to finish the movement, press overhead without relying too much on your arms.

Mistake 4: Not breathing properly

I know it seems ridiculous. But oftentimes, whenever a barbell or heavy weight is involved in a functional fitness workout, there's this tendency to forget to breathe when we're under tension. 

To avoid this, I like to breathe out as I'm pressing up and locking out, then breathe in at the top and as the bar starts to come down.

Mistake 5: The lazy lockout

The lazy lockout is when you're not locking out your elbows all the way, or you're locking out but not letting your head stay neutral so that you're pushing the barbell out in front or looking up. 

Another thing that happens when it comes to lazy lockouts is this weird technique of keeping your head back. So maybe you’re getting arm extension, but the bars in front of your body and your head is back. That’s another no rep.

Mistake Bonus: No Jerks

When doing the "push" in the thruster movement, especially when heavy, it's so tempting to bend your knees and lock the bar out thereby jerking - this is a no rep. Be really cautious of that. Remember, it is a push press movement from a squat position.

You can see the what it looks like here.

In order to complete the rep, you must push your head through your fully extended arms in the overhead position. This will ensure you get that new PR.

The Summary

This is new for CrossFit HQ. They came out hot with 23.1 workout by introducing RMU into 23.1, and once again thrown a curveball with both burpee pull-ups and shuttle runs. 

They announced floor space was going to be part of CrossFit Season, and they meant it.

Let's see how you get on with 23.2 - a couple of exercises paired with a monostructural workout in part B.

This really is the test of the fittest and the strongest.

The only links you need for the 2023 CrossFit Open:


Blog: 23.2 Open Announcement: How To Watch It

Blog: 23.2 Open Workouts & Standards

Blog: 23.2 Open Strategies and Tactics

Blog: 23.2 Open Strategies for Scaled and Masters Athletes

Blog: 23.2 Open Strategy Re-do


Blog: CrossFit Open 23.1 Workout & Standards

Blog: CrossFit Open 23.1 Strategy & Tips

YouTube Video: CrossFit Open 23.1 Strategy & Tips

YouTube Video: CrossFit Open: 5 Stages of 23.1

CrossFit Season

Blog: Our Workout Predictions for the CrossFit Open Season 2023

Blog: 2023 CrossFit Season Changes You Can Expect

Blog: Top Tips for 2023 CrossFit Season

Follow us on social media for real-time tips and updates on the 2023 CrossFit Open:





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