Quarter-Final Workouts in LM System Terms

This year, CrossFit introduced the Quarter Finals, the step after the new 3-week Open format. The top 10% of the Open participants were invited, totaling over 13,000 competitors. 

In terms of both bio-energetic system requirements AND objective level of fitness (defined by colored belts, as a barrier to entry), here’s how these workouts fit into Level Method:

Test One

For total time:
    Three rounds of
10 strict handstand push-ups
10 dumbbell hang power cleans
50 double-unders

Rest exactly one minute, then 
    three rounds of:
10 kipping handstand push-ups
10 dumbbell shoulder-to-overheads
50 double-unders
    Time cap – 10 minutes | Women: 35-pound dumbbell | Men: 50-pound dumbbell

Analysis: Vpp – Aerobic Power (Breathe & Burn) with Upper Body Push/Shoulder Stamina

To access the aerobic power (breathing) elements of this workout, you need significant shoulder stamina, since this workout hinges almost entirely on it.  In Level Method terms, ONLY BLACK+ Level athletes should attempt it.  When considering if this workout is appropriate, consider the Upper Body Push category FIRST. 

Test Two

    For time:
60 GHD sit-ups
Six rope climbs   (15-foot rope)
 60 alternating single-leg squats
 50 GHD sit-ups
Five rope climbs   (15-foot rope)
 50 alternating single-leg squats
 40 GHD sit-ups
Four rope climbs   (15-foot rope)
 40 alternating single-leg squats
 30 GHD sit-ups
Three rope climbs   (15-foot rope)
 30 alternating single-leg squats
    Time cap — 20 minutes.

Analysis: Ppe – “Dense” Stamina of Core, Lower Body Push, and Upper Body Pull 

Within the Level Method Bio-Energetic System model, stamina (‘plumbing’) sits on a rep-spectrum of muscular contractions. Dense stamina means there are high reps, but the movements have elements of high tension.  This is a potent combination that can absolutely wreck anyone not prepared for it.

The volume is very high in this workout:  180 GHD Situps, 180 Pistols and 18 Rope Climbs.   Granted, of North American male competitors, fewer than 250 (6%) finished it under the time cap … but simply attempting this workout can set people up for failure, excessive soreness, and possibly rhabdo.

In Level Method terms, only RED+ who have built a specific capacity for GHD Situps should consider this workout.  If GHDs weren’t regularly in training and competitors exceeded 100 reps, the price can range from serious soreness, to injury.

Test Three

    For time:
120 wall ball shots
120-calorie row
   Time cap – 15 minutes | Women: 14-pound ball to nine-foot target | Men: 20-pound ball to 10-foot target


Wallballs: Vpp – Aerobic Power (Breathe & Burn) with Upper Body Push/Shoulder Stamina into Rowing: Vpv – Aerobic Power (Heavy breathing) 

Barrier to entry for this workout is low, and comes down to how painful you’re willing to make it. The aerobic power spectrum means that it’s primarily breathing, but the wallballs will ‘burn’ the shoulders. 

In Level terms, ORANGE+ are good for this workout. 

Test Four

    For max load:
4-rep max front squat
    Time cap – 20 minutes

Analysis: Eep – High Tension Muscular Contraction

Similarly to Test 3, barrier to entry here is relatively low.  Any athlete in BLUE+ range would be cleared for this workout.  Within the Level Method Bioenergetic model, this fits into the Electricity world, and has a high tension nature … so CNS and Neuro efficiency are at work.  

Test Five

    For time, 9-6-3 reps of the following:

  • Snatch
  • Burpee box jump-over

    Time cap — seven minutes | Women: 135 pounds, 30-inch box | Men: 185 pounds, 30-inch box

Analysis: Pvp – Lactic Tolerance 

This is Lactic Tolerance only for anyone getting under 3-4 minutes. In Level Method terms, only RED+ Level Athletes should consider this workout, with special attention to the weightlifting category score.  Someone at a lower level could complete this workout, but it would be a different system. 

Nathan Holiday

CEO of Level Method, Nathan was born in Australia, grew up in CA, and joined the Army at 18. He deployed to Baghdad, Iraq as a Sniper team leader in 2006 and after being honorably discharged in 2008 went on to become a coach, athlete, and entrepreneur. He holds a BA in Business, earned at night while running his gym in the day. Nathan has extensive knowledge and experience in a wide variety of subjects and considers himself a committed, lifelong student.
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