First Takes: Individual Semifinals Tests 4-7

May 12, 20236 min read

Image Credit: Athlete’s Eye

Over the last two days what are likely the final four Individual Semifinal workouts were released. On Wednesday we got tests four and five, and then on Thursday (the day we expected to receive all of them at once) we got the final two individual tests. That concluded a four day run of CrossFit releasing Semifinal workouts, beginning with teams and then a three day run of three-two-two events by day. Which was a nice change of pace overall. 

If you missed our breakdown of Individual Semifinal Test 1-3 check them out here.

For Tests four through seven we’re going to give a brief overview of the highlights for each, before identifying three things we’re impressed with about this year’s Semifinals programming as a whole.

Individual Semifinal Test 4

For Load:

Run 800 meters

Max Snatch

Time Cap: 6 minutes

The first part of a back to back couplet. There’s an 800 meter run buy-in, but the score is a max snatch for load. I don’t expect anyone to be running too hard here (even if it is a likely tiebreaker) because all that matters is how much you snatch. 

How precise can you be at a maximal load, with an elevated heart rate, the most technical movement, and the pressure of a time limit?

Individual Semifinal Test 5

Starting 2:00 after Test 4 ends, For time:

8 Snatches (185/125)

Run 800 meters

Time Cap: 6 minutes

The second part of a back to back that will likely serve as the finale for Saturday night. Hit eight quick snatches at 185 pounds for men and 125 pounds for women, then a good old fashion running race to close out the day. More so than ever do I hope there is a way for them to run laps around the arena floor… I can only imagine the energy the crowd would bring if they manage to pull it off. 

Individual Semifinal Test 6

20 Overhead Squats (185/125 lbs)

500 meter row

3 Handstand-Walk Pirouettes

2 Seated Legless Rope Climbs

20 Strict Chest-to-Wall Handstand Push-Ups

2 Seated Legless Rope Climbs

3 Handstand-Walk Pirouettes

500 meter row

20 Overhead Squats

Time Cap: Men 15 minutes / Women 16 minutes

Middle time domain down and back chipper as the penultimate test, big demand on both shoulders and high skill gymnastics. A very cool test because it’s not obvious where the sticking point is for every athlete. Most athletes will struggle to some degree with at least one of the three gymnastics movements, but regardless the last 20 overhead squats are looming. 

Individual Semifinal Test 7

3 Rounds For Time:

15/10 Cal Echo Bike Calories

20 Toes to Bars

60 foot sandbag bear-hug carry (200/150 lbs)

Somewhat of a familiar feel to a Regional or Semifinal finale, primarily with regards to the time domain. However, instead of a decreasing rep scheme we see three identical rounds for time. I really like this as I think even though it’s a quick workout there will be plenty of opportunities to win or lose it in the last round. 

Arielle Loewen Games 2021 copy

Image Credit: Athlete’s Eye

Three Things to Love About Semifinals

After seeing all seven tests, these are the three things we like most about the 2023 Semifinals: 

  1. Seven Scored Tests: The big picture wish we wanted to see. To me this is equivalent to getting a dream set list when you go to see your favorite band or seeing a bike wrapped up under the tree on Christmas morning. It likely won’t be this format every year, but I’m happy we got it this year. Seven tests gives one extra data point which we know from past studies can have a huge impact, and it also opens the playbook in a specific way, which happens to be number two on this list…
  1. Testing Their Ability to Recover: As much as anything in CrossFit, this is what the best do better than the rest, and it comes in many expressions. At the Games it is tested in a unique way because of both the volume and total time duration of the competition. I feel that given the limits of a Semifinal by its nature, this is about as good as can be done in terms of pushing the athlete to answer this question in a staggering number of different ways throughout the three days of competition. 
  1. Details Matter: In nearly every test there is an unknown element. It’s cool to be able to integrate that into the story. I have a pretty good pulse on the field of athletes, but in multiple instances I’m excited because I’m not quite sure who is going to struggle where… and I think mostly everyone will struggle in at least one of the seven tests. 

Week 1 of Semifinals starts in less than a week:

  • North America East:
    • Thursday May 18- Sunday May 21
    • Orlando, Florida
  • Africa:
    • Friday May 19- Sunday May 21
    • Johannesburg, South Africa

We’ll be in Orlando week 1, if you’re there make sure to stop and us and say hello.

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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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