First Three Individual Semifinal Tests Drop

May 10, 20235 min read

Image Credit: Athlete's Eye Athlete: Elisa Fuliano

What We Like, What We’re Curious About

Another early Semifinal present from CrossFit; three of the individual workouts were released Tuesday evening on the heels of the team tests surprising us the night before. 

As we did with the teams, here’s what we like, and something we’re curious about, right off the bat for each test.

Individual Semifinal Test 1

We’re going long 

For Time: 

3000 meter Echo Bike

Hand-over-hand pull (84 feet)

2000 meter Assault Air Runner

Hand-over-hand pull (84 feet)

1000 meter Ski Erg

Hand-over-hand pull (92 feet)

Time Cap: 30 minutes

225/180 lbs

A theme we’re seeing with these initial releases is that while we have most of the information, we don’t have all of it. The biggest question mark here is the hand-over-hand pull. There is a listed weight of 225 and 180, I’m hoping it’s a thick rope, I want the pull to matter.

Question: How Long? I don’t see anyone needing the time cap on this one. The machines can not take more than 20 minutes total for anyone. I don’t think there will be 10 minutes of hand over hand pulls. 

It’s a nice start to the weekend. Something long, but with less long intervals on each of the different monostructural implements. You will have to risk the pace a little if you want a top score here. Especially in those 60 person fields, you don’t want a mid pack finish on the opening event. 

Individual Semifinal Test 2

3 sets of 3:00 Work / 1:00 Rest

5 Ring Complexes (1 toes to ring, 1 muscle-up, 1 ring dip)

20 single leg squats

Max burpees over box

Men: 20 lb ruck, 30 inch box

Women: 10 lb ruck, 24 inch box

Pro: Checks two boxes. Giving us both a high skill gymnastics demand and a work to rest capacity test. Athletes will need to be efficient and precise on the gymnastics, and then grind it out on the burpees over box. 

How much does the gymnastics matter?

My initial instinct was that the gymnastics is going to be mostly a wash (everyone can finish in a similar time). However, I’m not completely certain on the effect the ruck will have. There are several elements of this workout I’m excited to see:

  • Do you break on the rings or not? Or does it vary by round?
  • How much will Range of Motion play a factor? Will the box height balance the gymnastics? 
  • How repeatable will rounds be with only 1:00 rest between? I feel that for three rounds they’ll be pretty steady, while a fourth round would have been the separator. 

Love having a test like this that is a bit of an unknown. Could be a game changer for any Games qualifier who struggles with the Ruck-Rings combination. 

Individual Semifinal Test 3

“Semifinal Linda”

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of:

Deadlift (295/220 lbs)

Dumbbell Bench Press (90/60 lb dumbbells)

Squat Cleans (145/105 lbs)

Time Cap: 17 minutes

Pro: New Wrinkle on an Old Classic.  Linda, we’ve seen Linda at Regionals before. True, but not quite like this. The change from a barbell to a pair of dumbbells for the bench press only is a great move. 

I’ve done Linda, and also dumbbell Linda, but not a combination. Clever, and I like it. 

Are the weights right?

Looking forward to seeing the spread in times. Keeping that in mind, I’m curious what the expected range of finishes could possibly be. It seems like one of those workouts where no matter what you are expecting, a couple athletes will do something significantly better than you thought was possible… while others will get absolutely stopped in their tracks by the dumbbells.

These are at most half of the tests we will have. Until we see all of them we will hold off on overall impressions of the programming as a whole. 

How do you vote?

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Brian Friend

Brian stumbled upon CrossFit in the Fall of 2013. He has been a writer, data analyst, content creator, commentator, and broadcast coordinator. He's worked at a majority of the largest CrossFit competitions over the last three seasons, is a regular guest on the Sevan Podcast, and has been amongst the leading sports analysts in the sport in recent years. He has a passion for advancing the sport of CrossFit, and spreading the CrossFit methodology, by living it out in both his personal and professional life.

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  • Melissa

    May 12, 2023 / at 1:30 pm

    Love the content and love that you have your own platform now. One critique is that I would have loved to have the workout listed before you give your take on it so we don’t have to go back and reference another source. Keep it coming !

    • Brian

      May 12, 2023 / at 4:25 pm

      Extremely fair request. Thank you!

  • cj

    May 13, 2023 / at 3:30 pm

    Thanks for adding the workouts at the top. So much better! Love what you’re doing here. This is a little bit off topic but I just read somewhere that CrossFit won’t be streaming tests 1 and 3? If that’s true it’s absolutely criminal. I can’t wrap my head around it. This sport has very little in-person competition as it is. The idea that they would have all these amazing athletes actually competing and miss the opportunity to broadcast events feels like a massive middle finger to the fans. Either that, or they just don’t get it. We need more and better coverage, not less. I could maybe see resorting to “highlights only” for off-site events that would be tough to cover effectively, like a trail run or a road race.That’s not the case here. How hard can it possibly be to show these workouts? I hope I’m wrong about this and we do get to see what happens. Sorry about the venting but your article got me all pumped to see the these workouts! Thanks for all the good work!

    • Brian

      May 15, 2023 / at 5:50 pm

      Totally resonate with your feelings about it CJ. Working hard to try and find an alternative solution.

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