5/18/15 WOD: Muscle-Up Progression, fight gone bad conditioning

Today’s workout consists of one of Crossfit’s benchmark movement, the muscle-up, followed by a fight-gone-bad style conditioning segment.


A. Muscle-up progressions

Skill/Volume: Slowly accumulate as many Muscle-ups as possible in 20min. Sub in weighted pull-ups, strict pull-ups, assisted pull-ups if needed. For scaled pulls, try to string together 3-5 reps each set and use a 31X2 tempo.

B. Conditioning: For four rounds, rotate to the next station on the minute. Try to accumulate as many reps as possible.
Row – Calories
G2O (75/55)

Remember, this is a STRICT MUSCLE-UP, not those kipping ones you often see in the Crossfit Games. The focus is on strength and full body control. Here is the interesting facet to remember – the strict muscle-up for the para-athlete is essentially the same as for the able-bodied athlete. Granted there will be more challenges, particularly with what to do with your lower extremities, but the strength component is going to be largely the same, and if you can master it, I contend you will be far ahead of the game vs athletes who elect to use the kipping motion to complete their muscle-up.

Fortunately, the progression for a strict movement will not be too dissimilar for para-athletes, so find a good guide such as this one.


For my own workout today, which you can see in the image at the top, the goal was to do accumulate a lot of work within a 20 minute period. To accomplish this, instead of getting 1-2 muscle-ups and then struggling the rest of the way, I used a banded muscle-up so I could chain together 3-5 reps at a time and then rest. An easy way to use a band is to tie it on the rig and then with assistance loop it under your arms, forming a harness. You can see the bands in the image above, which help with the elusive and difficult transitioning phase.

Conditioning component

4 rounds, 3 movements, 1 movement per minute, 1 minute rest in between.

Row – Calories = Row
G2O (75/55) = kettlebell clean/press
Burpees = parallette press

Each rep counts as one rep, and each calorie on the row counts as one rep. In total, I completed 188 reps in the 4 rounds.

Thanks to Justin Doran for taking the photo above.

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