The Open 23.2 Workout Guide: How To + Scaled For Each Skill Level

The Open 23.2 workout is a CrossFit WOD that differs from many others as it has two parts, A and B. While a two-part WOD is not typical, this is the fourth time there has been a two-part WOD at the CrossFit games. 

The Open 23.2 workout starts with a 15-minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of two different exercises, followed by 5 minutes to establish your one rep max for a single exercise. 

What makes this workout extra spicy and perhaps extra dreaded by some CrossFitters is the running that it involves. To truly crush this workout, you need to be fast and explosive. You must also have a killer amount of endurance, but there will be no time for rest during this soul crusher. 

If you love running and are trying to get into CrossFit, this is the perfect workout to start out with. However, you must also be able to crush thrusters and burpee pull-ups to really knock this workout out of the park.

This CrossFit WOD is truly challenging, and only very well-rounded athletes can nab a score that shocks others. However, simply completing the workout does not require crazy skill, just a lot of ambition. 

In this guide we will cover the following: 

  • What Is the Open 23.2 Workout?
  • How to Do the Open 23.2 Workout
  • How to Scale the Open 23.2 Workout for Each Fitness Level

Let’s get into the torture that is this workout!

Two people doing pull-ups for the 23.2 workout.

What Is the Open 23.2 Workout?

This workout was a key part of the 2023 CrossFit games. It consists of a 15-minute AMRAP consisting of burpee pull-ups and shuttle runs, followed by having 5 minutes to establish your one-rep thruster max. 

The actually exercises required for this workout are not particularly challenging, though some athletes may need to alter the pull-up portion.

However, the sheer amount of work is truly brutal. The movements are quite functional; most people with any experience lifting weights and running would be familiar with them. 

The combination of burpees, pull-ups, and shuttle runs is a major test of endurance, and doing this for 15 minutes nonstop is likely to feel much more challenging than you anticipate. 

Jumping, pulling, and running repeatedly will have your heart pounding and your lungs burning. Prepare to feel the fire in your quads and deltoids because they will scream at you. If not during the workout, then likely in the days to follow. 

The fact that the Open CrossFit 23.2 WOD was a key workout at the games gives you some insight into the level of endurance it will require. It was designed to crush the souls of dominant athletes. 

A person doing a pull up.

How to Do the Open 23.2 Workout

To prepare for the Open 23.2 workout, you will need to carefully plan your workout space. You will need a space with a pull-up bar, enough space to run 25 ft out, and the ability to comfortably perform a thruster without your space being impeded.

Before you begin, you will want to set up a barbell with your desired beginning weight for your thruster. 

To begin this workout, you must set a timer for 15 minutes. Once you press start, you have the entire time to complete as many rounds possible of 5 burpee pull-ups and 10 of 25 ft shuttle runs.   

You will need to begin this workout on the far side of the Shuttle Run. So you will need to set up a shuttle start line 25 ft away from the pull-up bar, then run to the pull-up bar, and that is when you will begin your burpee pull-ups. 

But here is the kicker, for every round, you must add 5 burpee pull-ups.

A class of people doing burpees.

Soon your first round of burpee pull-ups, you will complete 5, then run 25 ft down and 25 ft back to the pull-up bar, and then complete 10 burpee pull-ups. Add 5 reps to each round of pull-ups for the entirety of the workout. 

That’s right, if you can complete 5 rounds in the 15-minute time frame, then your last round of burpee pull-ups will be 25 reps. While the burpee pull-up reps are ascending, the number of shuttle runs remains unchanged. 

Once the timer goes off, signaling your 15-minute AMRAP is complete, you should immediately make your way to your thruster set-up because the 5-minute timer has already begun. 

You then have 5 minutes to find your one-rep barbell thruster max. Get as warmed up for thrusters as possible before starting the Open 23.3 WOD to maximize your time while the timer ticks. 

However, be sure not to jump right into your one rep max regardless because you will risk injury. Your upper body and legs will be fatigued from your work during part A, so remember to have reasonable expectations. 

You can rest between rounds and take your time loading the bar to find your one-rep max for the thrusters, but the more time you spend resting, the lower your score will be. 

A person running.

Here is the exact format of “The Open 23.2”:

23.2A- Complete AMRAP 15 minutes:

  • 5 burpee pull-ups
  • 10 shuttle runs (1 rep = 50 ft)

*Add 5 burpee pull-ups after each round

23.2B – Immediately following 23.2A,  5 minutes to establish the following:

  • 1-rep-max barbell thruster (from the floor)

You must complete the workout in the order described and may not pause the clock at any time. Your score for 23.2A will be the total number of reps completed by the 15-minute time cap, and your score for 23.2B will be the heaviest successful lift, calculated in pounds. 

A person running outside.

How to Scale the Open 23.3 Workout for Each Fitness Level

The Open 23.2 workout does not require you to have the skill or knowledge to do any super complex, stereotypical, CrossFit movements. 

While a burpee pull-up is challenging to complete unassisted for beginners and some intermediate athletes, it can be easily modified to a similar exercise.

Learning the basic skills to complete burpees is not challenging, and rather than following it with a pull-up, you can simply do burpees or burpees to a target. 

The same goes for thrusters. While they may be challenging when using a lot of weight, most individuals can complete the movement a thruster requires without investing a lot of timing training the movement. 

It gets more complex as you add weight to the bar for your thrusters. However, for this workout, you can keep the weight at whatever is comfortable for you. 

A class of people doing barbell thrusters.

Beginners will likely need to modify the burpee pull-up portion of this workout and scale down to doing only a burpee. Intermediate athletes may also need to modify this portion and do all or some of their burpees as burpees to target rather than burpee pull-ups. 

For the shuttle runs, the distance should not be a problem for most athletes, but the expected level of intensity could be. You may run the shuttle at whatever pace is challenging but doable. 

CrossFit workouts, especially from “The Open,” are meant to deplete you. Remember to have a positive mindset and a lot of ambition before you start. 

The Open 23.2 workout is a true test of grit. You will find out exactly where both your cardiovascular and muscular endurance stand.  

The Open 23.2 Workout for Beginners:

The Open 23.2 WOD is easy to scale for different fitness levels by modifying the burpee portion. 

A person doing a thruster.

The best way to scale it is by scaling down the burpee requirement and keeping the run, reps and distance the same.

From there, handle the thruster portion however feels comfortable. Start with the lightest weight bar you have available and proceed from there. Adding weight in small increments. 

Beginners should start here:

23.2A- Complete AMRAP 15 minutes:

  • 5 burpees
  • 10 shuttle runs (1 rep = 50 ft)

*Add 5 burpee pull-ups after each round

23.2B – Immediately following 23.2A,  5 minutes to establish the following:

  • 1-rep-max barbell thruster (from the floor)
A barbell.

The Open 23.2 Workout for Intermediates:

Intermediate athletes may be able to complete some burpee pull-ups, but towards the end of the 15-minute AMRAP, switching to burpees to target is acceptable. 

Over time, you may discover that you can do more and more full burpee pull-ups and be able to transition to them completely.

We recommend the following workout for intermediate athletes:

23.2A- Complete AMRAP 15 minutes:

  • 5 burpees to target
  • 10 shuttle runs (1 rep = 50 ft)

*Add 5 burpee pull-ups after each round

23.2B – Immediately following 23.2A,  5 minutes to establish the following:

  • 1-rep-max barbell thruster (from the floor)
A person doing a thruster.

The Open 23.2 Workout for the Advanced:

Advance athletes should not need any modifications for the Open 23.2 workout. It should be completed exactly as prescribed. 

Advanced athletes should do the workout as prescribed:

23.2A- Complete AMRAP 15 minutes:

  • 5 burpee pull-ups
  • 10 shuttle runs (1 rep = 50 ft)

*Add 5 burpee pull-ups after each round

23.2B – Immediately following 23.2A,  5 minutes to establish the following:

  • 1-rep-max barbell thruster (from the floor)

Advanced athletes may need to take brief bouts of rest between rounds, but remember, the less rest you take, the more reps you can complete and the more time you will have to find your one-rep thruster max. 

A person doing a thruster.

Takeaways

​​The Open CrossFit 23.2 workout, consisting of two parts, is a challenging test of endurance, requiring athletes to complete a 15-minute AMRAP of burpee pull-ups and shuttle runs, followed by 5 minutes to establish a one-rep max for thrusters. 

The combination of movements demands speed, explosiveness, and a killer amount of endurance. 

Despite the movements not being overly complex, the sheer volume of work can be brutal. Scaling options are available for beginners and intermediate athletes, modifying the burpee pull-ups and thruster weights. For advanced athletes, completing the workout as prescribed is the goal. 

Overall, this CrossFit WOD is a true test of grit and will push athletes to their cardiovascular and muscular limits. Proper preparation and a positive mindset are essential for tackling this soul-crushing workout.

If you want to challenge yourself with another CrossFit WOD that includes running, try “The Murph.”

A CrossFit athlete on the ground, exhausted.
Photo of author
I am a UESCA-certified running coach, psychology PhD student, and competitive obstacle racer and trail runner. Once 100 pounds overweight I found fitness and fell in love with an active and competitive lifestyle. My passion for inspiring others and fitness come together seamlessly in the world of writing where I get to share the thing that changed my life. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, my dogs, as well as baking and cooking.

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